Alexandra Pope and Andrea Stockton, staff writers
August 31, 2011 — Environment Canada has confirmed a third tornado in southern Ontario from the severe weather outbreak of August 24th, bringing the province's total to 13 for the season.
The dynamics were all there for it to be an active night across the region -- and it was.
After a sultry summer day that saw temperatures soar near 30°C in some places, a cold front swept through, sparking severe thunderstorms.
“Right after 6 p.m., a few cells got going around Lake Huron,” says Gina Ressler, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. For hours, multiple cells rolled off the shores of Lake Huron, producing severe conditions and three confirmed tornadoes.
The latest tornado to be confirmed from the severe weather outbreak touched down about 10 km east of Neustadt in southwestern Grey County.
The twister was 200 meters wide, and travelled about 3 km, uprooting trees and knocking over a large children's playground set.
Based on the damage, Environment Canada rated the tornado an F-0 on the Fujita Scale, meaning it packed peak winds of 110 km/h.
An F-1 tornado touched down in an area between Cambridge and Burlington. The twister produced peak winds between 120 and 170 km/h.
The track began near Little's Corners and ended near Westover, with the greatest damage in Kirkwall.
The damage track was measured at 15 km long and 300 metres wide. It was rated F-1 based on an assessment of the damage, which included downed trees.
A tornado also touched down in the Nairn area, northwest of London.
The damage was consistent with F-1 scale winds and it occurred around 7:50 p.m. on Wednesday.
The path of damage was approximately 10 km long and 300 metres wide. The twister began about 6 km west of Nairn and ended about 4 km east of Nairn.
At one point, much of the Huron shore was under a tornado warning, including the town of Goderich, which is still recovering from the deadly F3 twister of August 21.
Residents were seen running for cover in fear that another twister would touch down.
“People were rushing around trying to get to friend's homes, places that were safe,” said The Weather Network's Chris Mei, who was reporting live on location at the time.
While the ingredients for a tornado were there, no touchdown was reported.
Other severe weather
A tornado may also have touched down between Parkhill and Lucan, damaging hydro lines and ripping through a campground.
The same cell produced baseball-sized hail that shattered car windows in Kettle Point.
As a severe thunderstorm rolled over Toronto, CNE organizers shut down the Midway and urged visitors to take shelter in the exhibition buildings. BMO field was also evacuated as a precaution and Wednesday night's Toronto Football Club match postponed.
The Weather Network received over 250 active weather reports as the line of severe thunderstorms rapidly tracked eastward. Everything from large hail, flooding rains and damaging winds were reported.
At one point, more than 25,000 Hydro One customers in southern Ontario were without power.
For a closer look at the weather in your area, head to the Ontario Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV for up-to-date coverage.
With files from Jill Colton