Wednesday, July 8th 2020, 8:29 pm - Environment Canada issued a Tornado Watch for parts of southern Ontario Wednesday afternoon, including for the City of Toronto, as severe thunderstorms tracked through.
Residents across southern Ontario are repairing damages and managing floods after severe thunderstorms tracked through on Wednesday afternoon.
A thunderstorm showing broad rotation induced by a lake breeze prompted Environment Canada to issue tornado watches, including for the City of Toronto, Wednesday at 2:51 p.m. ET. At the same time, heavy rainfall was being reported with localized flooding.
Flooding in Etobicoke, Ont., on July 8. Courtesy: The Weather Network
As rotation weakened within the hour of the Tornado Watch being issued, Environment Canada downgraded it to a Thunderstorm Watch.
"Lakeshore dealing with the brunt of this - likely numerous flooded streets and some flooded underground parkades across parts of Toronto this hour," tweeted Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, at 3:22 p.m. ET.
Hamilton adds that during the storm on Wednesday afternoon, it rained more in 20 minutes in Toronto than the entire month of June and early July, with approximately 50.4 mm accumulating between 2:45 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. ET.
The heavy rain comes courtesy of thunderstorms that developed along the Lake Ontario lake breeze, according to Brad Rousseau, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.
"The combination of weak winds aloft and high amounts of moisture in the atmosphere is what made for a very slow moving storm that was able to dump an abundance of rain over a localized areas in a small period of time," he explained.
Motorists are reminded not to attempt to drive through flooded streets, as it could be difficult to predict how deep the water is.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has issued a flood warning due to the heavy rainfall and warns that rivers in the GTA will be experiencing higher flows and water levels, which can cause dangerous conditions.
The TRCA says that flooding is expected in the Highway 400 and Highway 401 Black Creek area and says extreme caution must be exercised around all bodies of water and that motorists should avoid driving on flooded roadways or in low-lying areas and underpasses.
Toronto police have reported flooding in parts of the city’s west end and say that neighbourhoods near Weston Road and Humber Boulevard could flood as Black Creek has broken its banks in several places.
See below for the impacts from the brief yet intense storm.