Southern Ontario was hit by not one but two tornadoes on Sunday, Environment Canada confirmed.
The first, an EF-2, hit Teviotdale, northwest of Kitchener. The second tornado touched down in Marsville, about 60 kilometres northwest of Brampton, the national weather agency said Wednesday.
The Marsville twister was an EF-1, with winds of 135 to 175 km/h. The storm snapped large trees, overturned a feed barn, and caused some light damage to barns and a house.
All in all, the tornado covered a patch of ground about two kilometres by 500 metres.
Sunday’s storms were the most significant severe weather outbreak of the summer, Environment Canada said.
The two tornadoes were the third and fourth tornadoes in Ontario so far this year. On average, there are 12 confirmed tornadoes in the province each year.
Canada itself is a tornado hotspot, second only to the United States. There could be more tornado activity in the country before the end of August, warned a Columbia University scientist.
Because it’s an El Nino year, “we tend to see more low pressure conditions form,” John Allen of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society said.
“Conditions are in play that produce more tornadoes,” he added.
Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips said the tornado that hit Teviotdale was unusually strong.
“We’ve had a couple of strong ones, EF-2s, which you don’t often see in Canada. You can go a whole year without seeing that.”