Environment Canada confirms tornado in Staples

Rain stock photo. (Photo by © Can Stock Photo / chalabala)

Remember that big thunderstorm last Friday night? Environment Canada confirmed it spawned a tornado in Staples.

It was not a big one, just EF0, and it did not cause any damage.

A tornado measuring that on the Enhanced Fujita scale can have winds of up to 130 km/h.

“Now this one, there’s no way of knowing how strong it was, so we categorize it as an EF0, so likely it was about 90 km/h, maybe 100,” said Environment Canada Meteorologist Peter Kimbell.

The Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University is tracking the incidence of tornadoes across the country and said it qualified.

The twister is the first in Essex County this year, but not in Ontario. The Northern Tornadoes Project has counted nine across the province so far.

Kimbell said video of the tornado was published on social media.

As more people take advantage of the opportunity to eat on restaurant patios in Windsor-Essex, the risk of getting caught in severe thunderstorms increases. Kimbell said there are signs to watch for and avoid getting hurt should a tornado touched down nearby.

“In Ontario, of course, lightning-central is Essex County,” he said. “So, if you can hear thunder, it’s time to take shelter because lightning is a pretty big safety hazard in Ontario.”