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Severe thunderstorms brewing in Ontario

Andrea Stockton, staff writer
August 24, 2011 — The potential for thunderstorms stretches across Ontario Wednesday. Where will these storms get the most severe?

Ontario's thunderstorm risk Wednesday
Ontario's thunderstorm risk Wednesday

Increasing humidity and the passing of a cold front could help to trigger severe storms in parts of Ontario Wednesday. The threat for tornadic activity is there.

“The day is starting off fairly grungy with some cloud, showers and a rumble of thunder, but the real action is later in the day,” says Chris Scott, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Parts of southwestern Ontario can also expect stifling conditions. A hot and humid airmass moving into the region prompted Environment Canada to issue a humidex advisory for Windsor, Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia. Temperatures are set to soar near 30°C feeling more like 40 with the humidity.

“The sun will come out Wednesday afternoon, it will get warmer, the humidity will increase and that should set the stage for storms as the cold front works towards Lake Huron and Georgian Bay,” warns Scott.

The main concern with these storms is damaging winds. “And there's even an outside chance for a tornado because winds are so strong with this system coming through,” adds Scott.

Homes and buildings completely destroyed in Goderich
Homes and buildings completely destroyed in Goderich

The risk for severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes prompted Environment Canada to issue a tornado watch for areas in and around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay Wednesday morning. The watch was later expanded to most of southern Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Niagara.

Also included in the watch is the community of Goderich. The town has spent the past few days in clean-up mode after a deadly F3 tornado left the area looking like a war zone Sunday. Officials say severe weather could challenge recovery efforts.

For a closer look at the storm impact in Goderich, tune into The Weather Network on TV. Chris Mei remains on the ground and will be bringing you LIVE up-to-date coverage from 4-9 pm. Natalie Thomas will be tracking these storms as well as they fire up throughout the day.

You can also check your local forecast before heading out.

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