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on_wx

Southern Ontario Tornado History

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I am putting together maps of prolific tornadoes in Ontario's history with a walmart budget and using the scant information that can be found on google.

 

August 7, 1979:

 

Google map version: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zVQwX9c2Qa3A.kHhql3e9seag

 

1979TORNADOOUTBREAK_zpsb7c65856.png

 

May 2, 1983:

 

Google map version: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zVQwX9c2Qa3A.kwPEYZ1TtJWU

 

1983reecescornerstornado_zps25387223.png

 

July 17, 2000:

GUELPHTORNADO2000_zpsba2663ee.png

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Interesting, on the same day as Plainfield.

 

 

Yeah, was going to say that some of these dates were notable in the states as well (5/2/1983 and 4/19-20/1996 being others).  Good job on_wx.

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Thanks for the effort Mike. Not much of a severe wx guy but I do enjoy maps! :lol:

 

Thanks Mike!

 

Yeah, was going to say that some of these dates were notable in the states as well (5/2/1983 and 4/19-20/1996 being others).  Good job on_wx.

 

Just checked out tornado history proejct and 5/2/83 southern Lambton County F2 was a continuation of the northern Detroit Metro F3. Also, 9/2/84 I wonder if the London tornadic supercell was the same one responsible for the Sanilac County, MI F3. 

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I never knew that the same day Harsens Island was hit with their tornado in 1983 that the storm produced a F4 afterwards. Not to many know that the Harsens Island tornado actually started here in Eastpointe, hit Jefferson Beach Marina and then ctossed the entire lake before hitting the island. Makes you wonder how strong it was over the lake considering how far the tornado traveled.

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There was a very destructive one near Leamington in 2011. It originated off of Lake Erie and ran along the coast line from Harrow through Leamington. It actually came off the lake over my wifes best friends house.

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That May 31, 1985 outbreak has to be one of the more anomalous ones on record.  Not just for what happened, but more so where it happened.

 

In addition to what you posted...

 

 

post-14-0-96769500-1422039464_thumb.png

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If the Arthur to Mt. Albert tornado hit now it the damage and potential loss of life would be pretty huge especially near the 400. Toronto has expanded in a big way since 1985 north of the city.

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The Arthur-Mt Albert tornado destroyed a hydro station near Grand Valley at 430pm which knocked out power to the city of Barrie about 30 minutes before the tornado.

 

Workers were sent home because of the power outage, and at 5pm the tornado demolished 16 factories that employed over 400 people in the south Barrie industrial park. Had the power outage not occurred the death toll would likely have been massive. Only 1 person was killed in the industrial park, as most factories were empty. 

 

In 1985 most of these areas were farm land. Today they are heavily built up subdivisions from Toronto area urban sprawl. 

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This map is the approx path and width of the F4 through Barrie. The black line is approx area where urban Barrie ended in 1985. Areas to W and SW were developed in the 1990s or later. The yellow F4 is where most severe damage occurred including horrifically twisted steel I-beams, wood splinters wedged into concrete, and factories leveled. SW of this location was mostly forest with severe tree destruction and debarking. It's probably safe to say several blocks of these new subdivisions would likely have been leveled. Areas in SE Barrie experienced mostly F1-F3 damage.

 

BARRIEF4_zpsw8xaylsn.png

 

As for the Arthur-Mt Albert tornado, the approx path looks to take it over the northernmost subdivision of of Orangeville, through extreme northern subdivisions of Newmarket northwest and north of the Upper Canada Mall, and through southern East Gwillimbury. These ares were all developed in the 1990s or later.

 

The Alma F3 tornado skirted the north end of town where there is now a cul-de-sac of homes.

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These were already posted as maps above, but I've put them together as interactive google maps for better perspective. I have included the May 31, 1985 Rice Lake tornado as an F3 on this map, instead of F2 on the map above. Multiple sources rate the tornado differently. Also I wasn't too sure of the 5/2/83 Harsens Island/Walpole Island tornado track.

 

May 31 1985


 

August 7 1979


 

May 2 1983


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There was a very destructive one near Leamington in 2011. It originated off of Lake Erie and ran along the coast line from Harrow through Leamington. It actually came off the lake over my wifes best friends house.

 

The Leamington tornado actually occurred early in the morning of June 6, 2010, and part of the eastern extension of the outbreak which began in Illinois the previous day (e.g., Elmwood, Dwight, Streator).

http://www.windsorstar.com/State+emergency+declared+Leamington/3119361/story.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_5%E2%80%936,_2010_tornado_outbreak#June_6_event

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The Leamington tornado actually occurred early in the morning of June 6, 2010, and part of the eastern extension of the outbreak which began in Illinois the previous day (e.g., Elmwood, Dwight, Streator).

http://www.windsorstar.com/State+emergency+declared+Leamington/3119361/story.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_5%E2%80%936,_2010_tornado_outbreak#June_6_event

 

IIRC there were two tornadic supercells which tracked south of Detroit into Essex County, but I think it was the second which produced the tornadoes. The 4th tornado was confirmed a month and a half later. There was also a F1 tornado in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties in eastern Ontario on June 5th. Not sure if it was related to the June 6 outbreak.

 

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM THAT MOVED THROUGH PORTIONS OF ESSEX COUNTY

DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF SUNDAY, JUNE 6, WAS ORIGINALLY

THOUGHT TO HAVE PRODUCED ONE TORNADO. FURTHER STUDY EARLIER THIS

MONTH OF THE DAMAGE PATTERN IN THE AREA AND OF RADAR IMAGERY LED TO A

REASSESSMENT OF THE EVENT AS THREE SEPARATE TORNADOES: ONE TO THE

SOUTH OF HARROW WHICH WAS RATED AS A FUJITA SCALE ONE TORNADO WITH

PEAK WINDS BETWEEN 120 AND 170 KM/H, ONE SOUTHEAST OF HARROW WHICH

WAS RATED AS A FUJITA SCALE TWO TORNADO WITH PEAK WINDS BETWEEN 180

AND 240 KM/H AND ONE IN THE SOUTHERN SECTIONS OF LEAMINGTON THAT WAS

RATED AS FUJITA SCALE ONE TORNADO.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM DURING THAT TIME ALSO CAUSED TREE DAMAGE AND

MINOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE IN THE CRYSTAL LANE AREA NEAR LAKE ERIE,

APPROXIMATELY SIX KILOMETRES SOUTHWEST OF HARROW. A WIND FARM IN THIS

AREA HAD METEOROLOGICAL EQUIPMENT ON SITE. ENVIRONMENT CANADA WAS

RECENTLY PROVIDED WITH WIND AND PRESSURE INFORMATION FROM THIS WIND

FARM BY THE COMPANY, GL GARRAD HASSAN. BASED UPON THE INFORMATION

PROVIDED BY THIS EQUIPMENT, THE CRYSTAL LANE DAMAGE IS NOW BEING

CONFIRMED AS BEING CAUSED BY A TORNADO. THIS TORNADO HAS BEEN RATED

AS A FUJITA SCALE ZERO TORNADO WITH PEAK WINDS OF APPROXIMATELY 110

KM/H. THE DAMAGE PATH WAS APPROXIMATELY 800 METRES LONG AND 300

METRES WIDE AT ITS WIDEST POINT.

 

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30th anniversary of 5/31/85 is upon us. I can't imagine what would've happened if that Grand Valley tornado track was shifted 30-40 miles south/southeast. GTA is oriented from WSW to ENE, so the violent tornado would tear through a sizable portion of it. Truly a terrifying scenario. As Stebo said earlier, the area where the tornadoes actually did track is much more built up now too, and I feel like people in S Ontario are really not aware of this threat at all.

 

Article I wrote for US Tornadoes on this event: http://www.ustornadoes.com/2015/05/31/may-31-1985-a-tornado-outbreak-out-of-place/#more-6420

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30th anniversary of 5/31/85 is upon us. I can't imagine what would've happened if that Grand Valley tornado track was shifted 30-40 miles south/southeast. GTA is oriented from WSW to ENE, so the violent tornado would tear through a sizable portion of it. Truly a terrifying scenario. As Stebo said earlier, the area where the tornadoes actually did track is much more built up now too, and I feel like people in S Ontario are really not aware of this threat at all.

 

Article I wrote for US Tornadoes on this event: http://www.ustornadoes.com/2015/05/31/may-31-1985-a-tornado-outbreak-out-of-place/#more-6420

 

I was going to make a topic for the 30th anniversary but I'll just post here. 30 years ago this afternoon Ontario experienced its most violent 6 hour period in history. Its easily the closest any F4 tornado has been to my present location, extremely remarkable. There was a video I found last year from one of Barrie's local news stations that had the day after report (disappointed it wasn't during which would be akin to finding gold) because what I'm really after is seeing a radar shot/loop of it from the TV news, the only source I can think of for currently seeing it at all. I just saw TWN show a satellite loop of it this afternoon which is something, never seen it. It was an arc of exploding tops and I didn't notice any stray cells "out of line". I tried to find the video yesterday and of course, its no where to be found and I didn't think it was in a risk position to be removed so I didn't capture it  :fulltilt: . Yeah, go hide or remove an unique piece of history like a tease. There is just this from CBC:

 

 

No photos of the tornadoes either, rain-wrapped probably. I haven't heard any survivors describe the appearance of any of them that I know of. The last point: the pattern severe wise in Ontario is so completely different compared to now, its the furthest as right now I can't even get a normal thunderstorm let alone anything severe and damaging.

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30th anniversary of 5/31/85 is upon us. I can't imagine what would've happened if that Grand Valley tornado track was shifted 30-40 miles south/southeast. GTA is oriented from WSW to ENE, so the violent tornado would tear through a sizable portion of it. Truly a terrifying scenario. As Stebo said earlier, the area where the tornadoes actually did track is much more built up now too, and I feel like people in S Ontario are really not aware of this threat at all.

Article I wrote for US Tornadoes on this event: http://www.ustornadoes.com/2015/05/31/may-31-1985-a-tornado-outbreak-out-of-place/#more-6420

Nice job with that writeup.

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30th anniversary of 5/31/85 is upon us.

 

Article I wrote for US Tornadoes on this event: http://www.ustornadoes.com/2015/05/31/may-31-1985-a-tornado-outbreak-out-of-place/#more-6420

Great article. Brings back memories..... I was just asking the wife if she remembered what happened 30 years ago today. At that time I didn't know her but she was living in Liberty near the track of the Niles F5 and I was living just up the road from where the F5 crossed North Rd. I was in the large hail path from the tornado. I remember coming home late from work and noting that sky looked greenish to the west. Right around 7PM the lights went out and then the hail started falling. I could barely hear the roar, but my view to the south was blocked by trees. After that there was silence followed shortly after by sirens all evening as rescuers rushed to the scene. My future wife said she was planning to go out that Friday night with her friends...her route would have taken her down 422 where the tornado crossed over, fortunately her Dad made her stay home that night. There were a lot of lucky people that day. The F5 destroyed a skating rink where a large kids party was going to be held later in the evening, only two workers were present and both were killed. For many years after you could still see the scars from the path of the tornado through the area when we visited family still in the area, but now all that has been erased by time. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday.

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No photos of the tornadoes either, rain-wrapped probably. I haven't heard any survivors describe the appearance of any of them that I know of. The last point: the pattern severe wise in Ontario is so completely different compared to now, its the furthest as right now I can't even get a normal thunderstorm let alone anything severe and damaging.

I've heard most of the tornadoes were rain wrapped.

Tornado warnings weren't issued until after Barrie and Grand Valley were hit, possibly even after Orangeville too. The Barrie cyclic supercell spawned tornadoes for an hour before hitting the city, but as I said none must have been reported to EC so no warning. Might explain the lack of photos.

An eye witness said he saw the Barrie tornado, but it just a giant wall of rain crossing the 400 that people were driving into. All radio was on normal broadcasting at the time too.

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It's also important to note that around 430pm that day the Grand Valley F4 hit the feeder lines powering Barrie, which cleared out the industrial park with something like 400 workers sent home early.

That whole area was leveled. 16 factories in total completely demolished just a hAlf hour later. Would have been a terrible outcome if the power didn't go out.

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30th anniversary of 5/31/85 is upon us. I can't imagine what would've happened if that Grand Valley tornado track was shifted 30-40 miles south/southeast. GTA is oriented from WSW to ENE, so the violent tornado would tear through a sizable portion of it. Truly a terrifying scenario. As Stebo said earlier, the area where the tornadoes actually did track is much more built up now too, and I feel like people in S Ontario are really not aware of this threat at all.

 

Article I wrote for US Tornadoes on this event: http://www.ustornadoes.com/2015/05/31/may-31-1985-a-tornado-outbreak-out-of-place/#more-6420

 

I finally had a chance to read the article. Good job. I didn't know many details about this outbreak. Most of the area affected would be a nightmare to chase in.

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