By Connor Lynch
HAWKESVILLE — Tornado season in Ontario has been a fairly typical one, with the most recent on record tearing up a farm in Western Ontario.
The tornado touched down near a dairy farm in Hawkesville, near Waterloo, on Aug. 11 at around 7:30 p.m. It charged north, downing hydro lines, destroying sheds, damaging barns, and injuring livestock. The EF-2 tornado, a middle-weight twister with wind speeds around 180 km/h, didn’t injure any people, and only injured a few dairy calves, one of which likely had to be put down, Environment Canada meteorologist Brian Owsiak told the Waterloo Region Record.
Another tornado touched down the same day in Leamington, at around 5:30 p.m. The EF-0 storm, with wind speeds up to 130 km/h, damaged a greenhouse and some solar panels, but no one was injured.
Those two most recent storms bring this year’s tornado total to nine, Environment Canada severe weather scientist David Sills told Farmers Forum. All in all, Ontario’s had a fairly typical year for tornadoes, both in terms of how many and how strong. The one anomaly, Sills said, is that May and June had no tornadoes. August has been the worst month so far, he said, having gotten five of the nine tornadoes.
On average, Ontario gets between 10 to 12 tornadoes a year, said Sills. The season starts in April and generally finishes by October. Most tornadoes in Ontario run through tornado alley between Windsor and Barrie.