Fall storms in Ontario produce EF-1 tornado, hail, waterspouts

The thunderstorms produced an EF-1 tornado that damaged a farm in rural Hamilton and 29 waterspouts, in addition to dropping small hail in many locales in southern Ontario Wednesday.

September went out with a bang in southern Ontario, as an upper-level trough sparked thunderstorms that brought heavy rain, small hail, dozens of waterspouts and an EF-1 tornado Wednesday.

Significant damage was incurred at a farm property in rural Hamilton. An outbuilding was destroyed, a truck was flipped on its side, a barn’s roof was torn off and trees were snapped. No injuries were reported. Researchers from the Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project verified the damage was yielded from a twister, giving it an EF-1 rating.

The tornado occurred at 4:30 p.m. and produced a narrow path of damage in the Strabane area of Hamilton. It boasted maximum wind speeds of 150 km/h.

As well, the storms also dropped pea-sized to dime-sized hail in parts of southern Ontario on Wednesday evening.



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"The magic of being in a fall shoulder season is the surface temperature is cooler, allowing small hail to easily reach the surface. The environment had a lot of dynamics to producing stronger than typical updrafts for a late-September day, causing hailstones to grow inside the storm,” explains The Weather Network Tyler Hamilton.

ON Sept 30, 2020 hail credit: Dayna Vettese

Dime-sized hail observed in Ancaster, Ontario on Wednesday evening. Credit: Jaclyn Hill

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In addition to the possible tornado Wednesday, there were 29 waterspouts confirmed by the International Centre for Waterspout Research. More are possible on Thursday with cold air aloft hanging over the warmer waters of the Great Lakes and a lingering trough providing instability.

Truck flipped/possible tornado damage Hamilton/Photo: Jeremy Cohn

An EF-1 tornado caused damage to a farm property on Brock Road in rural Hamilton on Sept. 30. Photo: Jeremy Cohn

Ontario possible tornado - Sept. 30

Damage to a farm property on Brock Road in rural Hamilton. Courtesy: Jeremy Cohn

Ontario possible tornado 2 - Sept. 30

Damage to a farm property on Brock Road in rural Hamilton. Courtesy: Jeremy Cohn