Heavy rain to drench central and northern Ontario, thunderstorm threat stretches to the east
Thursday, May 15, 2014, 8:12 AM - A moisture-laden disturbance from the southern U.S. is set to bring heavy rain to parts of central and northern Ontario Thursday.
"The rain may be heavy at times and occasional thunderstorms are also likely," says Environment Canada in the rainfall warning.
Upwards of 45 mm of rain is possible in the hardest hit areas through Friday.
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"Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads," EC warns.
Officials say the ground in the area -- including North Bay, Sudbury and Muskoka -- is near saturation and has little ability to absorb further rainfall.
Lesser amounts of rain are likely in southern and eastern Ontario, but a widespread thunderstorm risk covers the region for the fourth day in a row.
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"Conditions won't be that severe in the Greater Toronto Area, however, parts of eastern Ontario can expect significant storms on Thursday along with severe weather potential," says Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm.
Toronto and Region Conservation issued a water safety message Thursday morning, warning of elevated water levels.
"While significant flooding is not expected at this time, the forecasted rainfall will cause high flows and water levels in Greater Toronto Area creeks and rivers, resulting in unsafe conditions," the statement reads.
Conditions have been favourable for severe storms all week, and on Wednesday Environment Canada confirmed the first tornado of the season.
The EF-1 tornado occurred in the Mildmay area late Tuesday afternoon, packing winds up to 150 km/h along a damage path of two kilometres.
According to EC, one house suffered significant damage. Barns, trees and power lines in the area were also affected.
Tornado warnings were in place at the time.
STORM HUNTERS: Storm Hunter Mark Robinson and Weather Network meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal are heading to Tornado Alley. Check back for frequent updates on their coverage in the U.S.