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Flooding in Markham

Storms spark tornado warnings, downpours across southern Ontario

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:21 AM -

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Strong storms rolled through southern Ontario Friday evening, bringing torrential rainfall, at least one funnel cloud and tornado warnings that covered major cities.

The tornado warnings went up around 7 p.m., eventually covering Kitchener, London, Goderich, Grand Bend and Sarnia, joining severe thunderstorm watches and warnings that stretched all the way from Windsor to Kingston.

The Canadian Press reports Environment Canada may dispatch a team to the Grand Bend area to investigate reports of a possible tornado that was spotted on the Lake Huron shore.

"Trees were brought down with the storms through Grand Bend, and lots of power outages were reported," Weather Network Meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg said early Monday morning.

A funnel cloud was spotted in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, and other clouds were reported elsewhere.

Around 6,300 customers were left without power, most of them concentrated in the London area. 

Aside from the winds, it was the rain that caused headaches for some areas, forcing some road closures as water levels rose.

"Radar indicated heavy rainfall with these cells, and the northern Greater Toronto Area, including Vaughan and Markham, saw localized flooding," Sonnenburg says.

Some flights in the region were cancelled or delayed due to the rain and winds, and Pearson Airport reported a ten-degree drop in temperatures.

There are currently no watches or warnings in effect in southern Ontario, as the system slowly moves eastward, making the morning commute a difficult one for drivers in the G.T.A. and southwest. 

Showers will continue through the morning, pushing out into Quebec by the afternoon.

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But although the rain is dying down, don't expect a calm day. The winds will pick up through southern Ontario this afternoon, gusting up to 70 km/h along the Huron and Erie shores.

There's also a chance of non-severe storms in the northeast, although no watches or warnings have been issued for that region so far.

Temperature-wise, you're looking at a week of fall-like temperatures, barely getting much past the 20oC mark for much of the week.

That's due to a weather pattern called an omega block, a high pressure area sandwiched between two low-pressure areas such that it will remain stationary until at least the end of the week.

While that means sweltering temperatures much of B.C. and the Prairies, for Ontario and Quebec, it'll bring a cooldown that will stay constant for a few days, then a slow return to seasonal.

On top of that, an upper level trough will remain over southern Ontario for much of the week.

"That'll bring a risk of showers and isolated thunderstorms for southern Ontario every day," Sonnenburg says.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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