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One tornado seen in two provinces

Weak tornado forms near Ottawa Thursday
Weak tornado forms near Ottawa Thursday

Lisa Varano, staff writer

June 25, 2011 — Ottawa-area tornado spotted on Ontario-Quebec border.

Flooded street in Aylmer, Quebec Friday
Flooded street in Aylmer, Quebec Friday

Two days of wild weather produced a weak tornado near Ottawa and flooded streets in the national capital region with more than 100 mm of rain, forcing evacuations in Gatineau.

Heavy downpours soaked the Ottawa area Friday, and intense thunderstorms produced a weak tornado Thursday. The funnel seems to have formed over the Ottawa River between Aylmer, Quebec and Kanata, Ontario.

It was Ontario's second tornado of the season. The first was near Guelph, in Fergus, which saw a weak tornado in May.

Environment Canada has confirmed the funnel near Ottawa was a tornado, based on photographs and videos taken by area residents.

The weather agency sent a survey team to search for damage, but found none.

Environment Canada has therefore rated the tornado an F0 on the Fujita Scale. Tornadoes of that intensity can have winds up to 110 km/h.

Ontario gets about 12 tornadoes each severe weather season, which runs from late April to early October, Environment Canada said in an updated weather summary released Saturday.

Flooded boulevard in Gatineau
Flooded boulevard in Gatineau

Peter Kimbel, an Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist, told The Weather Network that Tornado Alley in Ontario stretches from Windsor to Barrie.

“That is facilitated by the lake breezes that are generated by the Great Lakes. But unstable air masses do occur in the rest of the province, and tornadoes have been recorded in many parts of the province, including eastern Ontario,” he says.

“Ottawa is not immune to that. They do happen.”

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