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“In my opinion, that’s going to be a confirmed tornado,” said Rob Kuhn, a severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada.
A damage survey team is looking into a tornado that may have touched down in Hawkesville, near Waterloo, Kuhn said, adding that “there is damage in the area: downed power lines and debris in open fields.”
“Something was destroyed,” Kuhn said.
Thunderstorms moved over Leamington at 5:40 p.m., and over Hawkesville at 7:30 p.m. If confirmed, these will be the seventh and eighth tornadoes in Ontario since March, following two tornadoes that touched down in Muskoka only last week.
Another resident posted a video on Twitter of the funnel cloud in the distance.
“There are some reports of damage there to solar panels and a greenhouse,” Kohn confirmed, stating that the Hawkesville reported tornado is the current priority. “The one in Hawkesville may have more damage associated with it than Leamington.”
Environment Canada put out a severe thunderstorm watch just after 1 p.m. on Friday for the Waterloo-Wellington area, which was upgraded to a warning at 6:51 p.m. The severe thunderstorm warning included a mention of a possible “isolated, brief tornado” touching down, forty minutes before that warning turned into an official tornado warning at 7:30 p.m.
“Any severe thunderstorm can produce a tornado without warning,” Kuhn said.
Although they don’t know yet how powerful the potential tornadoes could have been, Kuhn said that the current damage assessment indicated that there were likely winds gusts within the thunderstorm of at least 90 km/h.
The two tornadoes didn’t spring from the same thunderstorm, but from the same cold front, Kuhn said. The outer regions of the GTA also felt the pressure from this storm system, with several severe thunderstorm watches announced around 8 p.m. last night.
At home, his dog did not appreciate the spectacle: “when there’s continuous thunder, (he) just sits there and barks at it.”