Ontario's 2020 tornado total nearly double the yearly average

Ontario averages just under 13 twisters a year, but there has already been 25 in 2020 so far, with 15 storm events under investigation by the Northe

Summer 2020 has been an active tornado season in Ontario, kicking off into high gear with what was eventually deemed an outbreak, even before the season technically started.

Following the June 10th event, in which seven tornadoes were confirmed, there have been 16 more verified in the province, including another outbreak on July 19 (total included a waterspout). The latest tornadoes occurred during the Civic Holiday long weekend.

Canada 2020 tornado total

On average, Ontario sees roughly 12.6 tornadoes a year, and so far, 2 have been confirmed, with at least one additional twister pending from the Mitchell area during the Aug. 3 storms.

Investigators at the Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) have been working with Environment Canada to help verify tornadoes across the country through ground surveys, witness reports and surveillance data.


June 8

Ontario's first tornado of the year occurred in Nestor Falls, with the first 22 km of the storm's nearly 32-km damage path (width exceeds 3 km) designated to the EF-2-rated twister. It has a preliminary width of 1.5 km.

June 10

Belgrave: Touched down at 5:45 p.m. EDT, had a path of 5.5 kilometres in length, with damage incurred to trees and farm hutches. Its winds speeds were 90 km/h. Rated EF-0.

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Brussels: Touched down at 6 p.m. EDT and had a path of 3.1 kilometres in length, with 90 km/ winds, causing damage to trees. Rated EF-0.

Bracebridge: Touched down at 7:30 p.m. EDT and had a path of 5.6 kilometres in length, with 150 km/h winds, causing structural and tree damage. Rated EF-1.

Mary Lake: Touched down at 7:45 p.m. EDT and had a path of 24.6 kilometres in length, with 190 km/h winds, causing structural and tree damage. Rated EF-2.


Newbury: Touched down at 7:50 p.m. EDT and had a path of 17 kilometres in length, with 130 km/h winds, causing structural and tree damaged. Rated EF-0.

Belmont: Touched down at 7:50 p.m. EDT and had a path of 18 kilometres in length, with 150 km/h winds, causing structural and tree damage. Rated EF-1.

Baysville: Touched down at 8 p.m. EDT and had a path of 5.6 kilometres in length, with 145 km/h winds, causing tree damage. Rated EF-1.

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June 23

A tornado was captured on video around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in the Kawartha Lakes region as thunderstorms tracked through. It was confirmed to have occurred in Sturgeon Point and was given an EF-1 rating based on an NTP ground and drone survey. It had estimated maximum wind speeds of 145 km/h, a track length of 5 km (over land) and maximum path width of 120 metres.

June 30

Witnesses captured photos of a landspout tornado in the Kerwood area. No damage reports were received and no visible damage was found during satellite imagery review. Therefore, it was given an EF-0 rating.

July 10

On July 10, a rare landspout tornado was spotted and confirmed in Milton during a severe thunderstorm. The twister was rated an EF-0 and no damage reports were received.

Milton tornado

July 11

A landspout tornado occurred in Lake Nipissing and was rated EF-0.

July 16

Witnesses captured video and photos of a tornado west of Brantford, but no damage was reported, thus earning an EF-0 rating. Further investigation pending, including satellite imagery review.

July 19

Sunday's tornadoes were spawned from an intense line of storms that rocketed through southwestern Ontario toward the GTA's western edge late morning and early afternoon.

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Lucan: An EF-1 rating, north of Lucan, with a preliminary track length of 2.4 km and maximum winds of 135 km/h. Several farm structures in the area were badly damaged, as were some trees.

Belmont: An EF-0 rating, with a preliminary track length of 9.3 km and maximum wind gusts of 125 km/h. It caused damage to roof shingles and trees.

Lambton Shores area: An EF-1 rating, occurred east-northeast of Sarnia. It had maximum wind speeds of 155 km/h and a preliminary track length of 15.4 km.


Beachville: An EF-1 rating, occurred through Beachville, a town near Woodstock. Tree damage caused by the heavy winds. The wind speeds were clocked at a max of 150 km/h. The track length is estimated to have been 2.8 km, with the tornado's width pegged at 100 metres.

Gads Hill: An EF-1 rating, it had maximum wind speeds of 150 km/h with a preliminary track length of 4.2 km. It resulted in damage to a farm and trees.

Blythe area: An EF-1 rating, it had maximum wind speeds of 135 km/h and a preliminary track length of 6.7 km.

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A waterspout was also spotted on Lake Huron, just offshore of Brights Grove, a town north of Sarnia. There is no evidence it came ashore, and no reported damages, thus given an EF-0 ranking.

Aug. 2

Though consistently warm, Civic Holiday weekend featured some powerful storms, marked by pounding rains in some areas -- and, it seems, at least four tornadoes.

Camden East: A high-end EF-0, it was spotted at 2:35 p.m., with maximum winds of 130 km/h, and some local damage reported.

Ontario tornado summary Aug. 2

Oxford Mills: A low-end EF-0, this twister was spotted at 4:25 p.m., with winds near 90 km/h. Damage associated with this tornado was light.

Kinmount: An EF-2 rating, this tornado was reported at 4:50 p.m. and boasted maximum winds of 190 km/h, causing considerable damage.

Aug. 3

The holiday Monday also yielded severe weather, with tornado warnings and watches issued.

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At one point, Environment Canada issued a tornado warning for a weak twister reported by a weather spotter at approximately 12:40 p.m. north of Mitchell. Some tree damage has been reported, and the tornado is under investigation, and has not yet been assigned a rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Monday tornado confirmed

If the Mitchell tornado is confirmed, that would bring the number of confirmed twisters to 24 so far this season, nearly double the province's annual average, with plenty of summer left to go.