Severe thunderstorm threat in southern Ontario Tuesday
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 12:43 PM - A period of strong to severe thunderstorms are possible across southern Ontario Tuesday.
"An organized complex of rain and thunderstorms with gusty winds, frequent lightning and torrential downpours is expected to track across parts of southern Ontario on Tuesday," says Weather Network meteorologist Doug Gillham. "The most likely timing for the Greater Toronto Area is during the afternoon. Depending on the timing on the system and the amount of sunshine that can occur before it arrives, scattered strong to severe thunderstorms may also develop ahead of the system."
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The first round of storms pushed into the Bruce Peninsula area through the morning hours, prompting Environment Canada to issue a severe thunderstorm watch for the region.
"Severe thunderstorm conditions possible - morning to late morning," said EC in the watch. "Conditions are favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, damaging hail and heavy rain."
Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings quickly followed for several communities, including the city of Toronto.
York Regional Police said four people were injured at Bethesda Grange Golf Course as lightning struck the area early afternoon.
More storms are expected later in the day with the "main event" occurring mid to late afternoon.
According to Chris Scott, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network, what could happen later in the day could be the most significant severe thunderstorm threat for southern Ontario so far this year.
Heads-up Southern Ontario for Tuesday, most significant severe t-storm threat so far this year. Details sketchy, but watch close #onstorm— Chris Scott (@ChrisScottWx) June 16, 2014
A warm and humid airmass will be in place across the region Tuesday with afternoon temperatures peaking in the upper twenties to lower thirties, and humidex values in the mid to upper 30s.
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"Everything is "ripe" for severe storms to develop and what happens through the morning hours will play a big role in how the afternoon pans out," says Brett Soderholm, another meteorologist at The Weather Network. "It's extremely important to remember that conditions can go from sunny to cloudy with heavy downpours to quickly follow. Then all of a sudden you're dealing with flooding and are hydroplaning on the roads."
Soderholm warns of the potential for a potent squall line to develop and push east along Highway 401 corridor this afternoon.
According to Environment Canada, there is also a risk of a tornado.
"Remember, severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes. Be prepared for severe weather. Take cover immediately, if threatening weather approaches. In Canada, lightning kills up to 10 people every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors," EC warns.
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