Public urged to be weather ready

Storm clouds over St.Clair River Aug 17, 2016. photo by Josh Boyce.

On this 66th anniversary of the Sarnia tornado, we’re being reminded to be vigilant and prepared for severe weather.

Sunday afternoon a severe thunderstorm showing signs of rotation prompted the U.S. National Weather Service to issue a tornado warning for the Port Huron, Michigan area. Luckily there were no funnel clouds or touchdowns reported as the storm tracked northeastward just west of Sarnia.

Environment Canada posted a severe thunderstorm watch and warning for Sarnia-Lambton Sunday.

Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Gerald Cheng said people are advised to take the warnings seriously.

“There is some danger associated with thunderstorms,” said Cheng. “Of course, with the tornado warnings issued just across the river, it’s a good time to review some of the safety tips associated, not just with tornadoes, but also thunderstorms because thunderstorms bring the danger of lightning.”

Cheng said a network of volunteers called CANWARN provides on the ground eyewitness weather information to help forecasters.

“Nowadays we still offer these presentations, however, we find that a lot of people just like to share their experiences with weather through a lot of other means — such as social media — and it certainly has become very popular in the last 10 years. So, when there’s active weather they can always report weather through the hashtag #ONStorm.”

The general public, however, should never chase dangerous storms and always take shelter in thunderstorms and threatening conditions.

For tips on weather safety, click here.