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Possible tornado touch down in Ontario

Ontario's nineteenth tornado of the 2014 season confirmed

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 3:34 PM -

Ontario's nineteenth tornado of the 2014 season has been confirmed, Environment Canada announced Wednesday afternoon.

Major winds ripped through the community of Sheffield, Ontario Monday night -- ripping the shingles off roofs, snapping tree branches and downing hydro lines. 

The Weather Network was first on the scene Tuesday to investigate.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about tornadoes in Canada

While there were no tornado reports coming from the community Monday evening, Weather Network meteorologist Mark Robinson says the damage observed in the area was consistent with a twister or a narrow microburst.

Environment Canada confirmed Robinson's suspicions Wednesday, after sending a survey team to the area.

"Thunderstorm activity moved through the Sheffield area, about 10 km to the southeast of Cambridge, around 10:30 Monday evening," Environment Canada says in a statement.

"Environment Canada has investigated reports of damage in this area and concluded that a the damage was indicative of a tornado, with a damage track of about 150 metres wide and 1.5 kilometres long."

The weather agency has rated the twister as an  EF-1, with wind speeds of about 150 kilometres per hour.

Only Environment Canada can confirm a twister and to do this, the weather agency depends on first-hand accounts -- like videos from people on the ground -- when severe weather rolls through.

"In order for Environment Canada to confirm a tornado, they need some kind of evidence -- whether that be from photos or videos or from data collected in a damage survey," says meteorologist Gina Ressler.

"If they've received a lot of damage reports that they think might have been caused by a tornado, they'll send out a survey team."

Ontario typically sees 12 tornadoes in a given season, which runs between late April and early October.

This year has been more active than usual, with 19 twisters confirmed in the province so far this year.

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