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Looking at the damage for the earliest tornado of the year in Ontario.

EF-1 tornado damages barn in Minto, Ontario


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, March 18, 2016, 8:59 AM - Ontario's first tornado of the season touched down near Mount Forest, Ontario Wednesday, Environment Canada has confirmed. According to the weather agency, this is the earliest in the year a tornado has ever touched down in the province.

The twister is said to have travelled for 3.5 km, causing damage to three grain bins and a barn and uprooting several trees. It touched down about 7 km northeast of Clifford at approximately 3:30 p.m.

Winds were estimated to be 170 km/h.

No injuries were reported.


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The tornado touched down as heavy storms moved through Ontario, generating winds that caused damages in several communities, including: Sarnia, Thunder Bay and Brampton.

Ontario typically sees 12 twisters in a season, which runs from late April to early October, although early-season tornadoes aren't unheard of. 

"This tornado is the earliest recorded in Ontario, and is the 1st of the season in Canada," says Environment Canada's Dave Sills. "Other parts of Canada have had earlier tornadoes."

Only Environment Canada can confirm a tornado.

To do this, the weather agency depends on first-hand accounts -- like videos from people on the ground -- when severe weather rolls through.

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