Possible Tornado Near Stratford

St. Marys Storm Photo Courtesy of Mark Robinson

Two storm chasers have published evidence of a brief tornado touching down near Stratford last evening.

Storm Hunter Mark Robinson tweeted a picture last night at about a consolidating tornado or land spout west of the city.  He says it caused some light tree damage up the road. He says branches were ripped off trees, and the leaves were flying.

Dave Patrick says his video posted on twitter shows a strong rotating wall cloud and brief tornado causing some tree damage along the road.

Environment Canada Meteorologist Geoff Coulson says they’ll assess the video. He says there was a similar incident near Erin, in Wellington County.

“It seems very similar to a number of incidents we’ve had this summer where we’ve had more than a few events where it’s been just sort of a brief spin up, mostly over an open field–no notable damage to speak of,” says Coulson. “Fortunately, in some regards, we haven’t seen stronger or more long lived storms, more frequently this summer.

“We’ve also had a few events across the province in terms of damaging wind gusts and and tornadoes we stand at 13 now for the season so far, and our long term average is 12, so we’re a little above the average and the season still has 6-8 weeks left in it. So, the possibility of seeing more of these storms is still there.”

Coulson says there’s not enough evidence to connect the frequent tornado and hail activity with climate change. But he says scientists have evidence that climate change is causing more heavy rain events in southern Ontario.

This is the third anniversary of the tornado that devastated Goderich where a man working at Sifto was killed.

As well, on August 20, 2009, a tornado hit Durham, and an 11-year old boy was killed by flying debris as children from a summer camp gathered in a shelter in a conservation area.