Environment Canada: EF-2 tornado tracked from Angus to Barrie
Published Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:22AM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, June 18, 2014 6:40PM EDT
The power and speed of the EF-2 tornado that hit Angus was remarkable.
Experts with Environment Canada have been in the community investigating the tornado and its path of destruction. Yesterday’s tornado was stronger than early estimates. It’s the third confirmed tornado of the season.
A random mixture of personal belongings from bicycles to kayaks lay strewn along the shoulders of road in Angus, all from different households along the tornado's path.
The tornado touched down in Angus at about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, then tracked east from Angus about 20 kilometres to the Mapleview Drive and Essa Road area in south Barrie by about 5:35 p.m. It left destruction in its path.
There is nothing left of a barn on the 6th Line in Utopia. On the 8th Line thousands of trees were toppled in and around the Tiffin Conservation Area. The trails there are closed until further notice.
Based on its path and the destruction left behind, Environment Canada is calling it a high EF-2 tornado with wind speeds up to 220 kilometres per hour. That's strong enough to rip whole roofs from houses and peel patio stones off the ground.
Severe weather scientists from Environment Canada were surveying the damage today. Dave Sills says forecasters knew there was a potential for severe storms yesterday and he was watching the radar carefully.
“We have Doppler radars … and they were very helpful to us picking up the rotating storms, the most dangerous ones, the super cell thunderstorms,” he says. “We tracked them across Grey County and they started to take a dive towards Angus and Barrie we had those tornado warnings out.”
Sills says all of the videos of the storm also help scientists confirm what radar data was showing at the moment the tornado formed. Julian Bernier was capturing his when he realized his friends live in the area.
“I have a few friends over there and one of my friends got his house ripped apart,” he says. “The whole roof was off. I went to see him afterwards.”
Environment Canada is looking at storm damage in the Kincardine area and in the Holland Marsh as well. They say EF-2 tornados happen almost every year but usually not in populated areas.
Yesterday, a cold front spawned a number of strong to severe thunderstorms across Southern Ontario, Environment Canada says. The thunderstorms brought sudden, heavy downpours, wind gusts, and frequent lightning.
Officials say the storm that touched down in southern Ontario on Tuesday was part of the same system that spawned two deadly tornados in Nebraska on Monday that killed two people and left 16 others in critical condition.