Monday, June 07, 2010

Ontario tornado

Just some of the damage from Leamington, Ontario. (Leamington Post photo)

That was a brutal weather weekend, especially for the Tour de L'ile bike event in Montreal yesterday. The system that I thought would take most of rain south of us did not do as expected and made for a dreary, cold and wet Sunday here in Montreal. The heavy cloud cover and rain allowed the temperature to reach only 13C. On Saturday the first system produced a rather showery, warm and humid day with some thunderstorm activity in the afternoon. Rainfall was heavy at times, and I measured 60mm on Ile Perrot from the weekend rains, or nearly double the May total. The airport in Dorval to my east had considerably less, and this makes sense due to the isolated nature of Saturday's storms.

That same system on Saturday dragged a cold front across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Numerous severe thunderstorms fired up late Saturday and into the pre-dawn hours Sunday across Illinois, southeast Michigan, northern Ohio and southwest Ontario. Several communities reported tornadoes that claimed at least 7 lives from Illinois into Ohio. In Ontario the town of Leamington southeast of Windsor was hit hard at around 3am Sunday morning. A potential tornado hit the community bringing down hundred year old trees on cars and homes and snapping power poles in half. The damage is very severe in many neighborhoods. Luckily nobody was hurt in the storm. Environment Canada will be investigating the storm damage today to determine if it was a micro burst, straight line winds or a tornado. Early reports from them indicate it was likely a F-1 tornado along the Lake Erie shoreline, however they continue to investigate.

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