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Rare late-season tornado confirmed in Ontario

Friday, November 20th 2020, 4:00 pm - The tornado damaged several properties as it tore through the northern part of the community, though no injuries were reported.

The strong storms that rolled through southern Ontario last weekend have produced at least one tornado, a rarity in November.

The tornado happened in the early afternoon on November 15th, cutting a path through the northern GTA community of Georgetown, with downed trees and some roof damage reported, though no injuries.

The Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project confirmed the tornado on Friday, estimating the twister had EF1 winds of 135 km/h and a damage track of 3.7 km and a width of more than 300 metres.

More than 40 tornadoes have been reported this year in southern Ontario, far outstripping any other province.

Tornadoes in mid-November are rare, but not impossible, if the conditions are right. One EF1 tornado in November 2013 north of Prescott caused significant damage to a farm silo, and in 2005, a tornado near Hamilton with winds up to 180 km/h near Hamilton tossed dumpsters, caused walls to buckle, damaged roofs and flipped over cars. It was later rated F1.

Sunday's storm featured powerful winds, with damage reported across the province.

Those hurricane-force gusts also triggered flooding in some communities along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, strong enough to drive the water into low-lying inland areas in a kind of storm surge known as a seiche.

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