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Ontario's thunderstorm risk stretches into the weekend

Heavy rain flooded Toronto's Don Valley Parkway on Tuesday

Heavy rain flooded Toronto's Don Valley Parkway on Tuesday

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    Digital writers

    Friday, May 31, 2013, 6:16 PM -

    There's certainly been no shortage of active weather across parts of Ontario this week. 

    From heavy rain and flooded highways to funnel clouds and a powerful downburst, thunderstorms have kept Ontarians on alert. 

    "Now, as we move into the weekend, there's the potential for more severe storms in some areas," says Monica Vaswani, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. 

    "Friday will start out as a fairly hot and dry morning, but as the day progresses, the chance for isolated thunderstorms increases." 

    Storms may reach severe limits over southern, northeastern and eastern Ontario through the afternoon and evening hours.

    Environment Canada issued a series of severe thunderstorm watches Friday afternoon, spanning from Windsor to Quebec City.

    Severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for Timmins and Cochrane.

    Severe thunderstorm watches issued on Friday

    Severe thunderstorm watches issued on Friday

    According to Environment Canada, the biggest threats with these storms will be strong winds with gusts up to 80 km/h, frequent lightning and small hail. There's also the potential for very heavy downpours giving local rainfall amounts of 20-40 mm in an hour or less. 

    "The risk for severe storms will continue into Saturday with an approaching cold front acting as a trigger," says Vaswani. "On Friday the best risk for storms is around the Greater Toronto Area and west, but on Saturday, the risk is pretty widespread."

    Storms moved into southern Ontario just in time for the evening and commute.

    Thunder, heavy rain and strong winds gusts up to 80 km/h were reported in Hamilton and Ancaster.

    "Drenching rains will be seen between London and Hamilton," explains Brian Dillon, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "Things will clear up a bit before another round of storms fires up during the overnight hours."

    As the cold front pushes through, temperatures are expected to take a major dip.

    "By Monday, many places will actually be seeing below seasonal daytime highs," adds Vaswani.

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