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Intense storms on July 15 spawn five EF-2 tornadoes in Ontario

Sunday, July 18th 2021, 11:27 am - Powerful thunderstorms produced not one, but five EF-2 tornadoes in Ontario on July 15, according to the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP).

The Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) has now verified that four other EF-2 tornadoes occurred in central Ontario amid the severe storms on Thursday, July 15.

Including the Barrie tornado, the five twisters occurred in the mid-to-late afternoon hours as multiple severe thunderstorms exploded and swept through the southern half of the province. This prompted multiple tornado warnings including for the Barrie area.

All five tornadoes that have been confirmed were given preliminary ratings of EF-2 by NTP.

NEW TORNADO CONFIRMATIONS

Zephyr-Little Britain

A tornado that developed north of Zephyr caused structural and tree damage while tracking eastward toward Little Britain. One injury was reported. Given a preliminary EF-2 rating, the twister had an estimated maximum wind speed of 195 km/h. It had an initial track of 30 km in length and maximum path width of 300 metres. Damage included one home, with most of the roof removed.

July 15 tornadoes

Lorneville

A tornado that developed west of Lorneville caused structural and tree damage while tracking eastward to Hartley. It was given a preliminary EF-2 rating, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 180 km/h. The initial track was 13.0 km in length and maximum path width of 600 metres. A barn and a farm outbuilding were destroyed.

Dwight

Tree damage was reported in the Dwight area. Satellite imagery review of the storm track revealed a tornado damage path starting near North Portage. The twister was given a preliminary EF-2 rating, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 190 km/h. Its track length was 4.76 km and it had a maximum path width of 360 metres.

Lake Traverse

Tree damage was reported in the Lake Traverse area. Satellite imagery review of the storm track revealed a tornado damage path starting southwest of the lake. It was given a preliminary EF-2 rating and had an estimated maximum wind speed of 190 km/h. Its track length was 11.9 km, with a maximum path width of 340 metres.

BARRIE TORNADO WAS STRONGEST

Barrie's tornado, which was the strongest and most impactful of the five twisters, had maximum wind speeds of 210 km/h, with a damage path that was 12 km long and up to 600 metres wide.

It swept through the southeastern section of Barrie, leaving around 150 homes damaged, 71 of which were not considered safe to enter, and injuring 10 people, according to Barrie officials.

Barrie tornado damage/Mark Robinson (Mark Robinson)

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) also noted trees were uprooted or toppled, and at least 10 roofs were removed. The second floor was destroyed or removed from two houses and a couple of vehicles were overturned. Roof shingles were damaged or removed from a number of other homes along the damage track from the tornado. The damage track may have continued towards Friday Harbour and over Lake Simcoe.

NTP also noted in a tweet that high-resolution drone and satellite images still need to be fully analyzed and could result in a few minor changes to the details of the July 15th tornadoes. Additional tornadoes may also be found.

Thumbnail contains damage from the Barrie tornado that occurred on July 15.

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