Photo of a tornadoTornadoes, also referred to as twisters are powerful column of high winds that are spun off from violent thunderstorms. These appear behind heavy rain and hail, moving at speeds up to 90 km/h.

Tornadoes can cause widespread devastation in a community within seconds;

  • uprooting trees,
  • flipping cars,
  • demolishing houses, and
  • causing loss of life.

When are tornadoes most likely to occur in our area?

Tornadoes can occur at any time giving you little to no advance warning. Most often they occur during moderate summer temperatures, accompanied by high relative humidity. Ontario averages approximately 12 tornadoes a year, usually between the months of May and September.

Where is the safest place in my home during a tornado?

  • During a tornado, it is important to take shelter in one of these locations:
  • lowest level of your home
  • basement
  • closet under the stairs
  • storm cellar
  • If you don’t have a basement, go under a sturdy table on the lowest level of your home.
  • Always keep the windows closed and stay in the centre of the room keeping away from windows, corners, doors and walls.

What if I’m outdoors during a tornado?

If you are outdoors or driving and spot a tornado seek shelter immediately, keeping in mind that tornadoes move very quickly and you should not attempt to out run them.

  • Seek shelter in a nearby sturdy building.
  • Do not go under a bridge or overpass as this will offer you little to no protection from flying debris.
  • If there are no buildings nearby, lay flat in a ditch or low area using your hands to cover your head. 

Who issues tornado warnings?

Environment Canada is responsible for warning and updating the public if weather conditions can produce tornadoes.   When severe storm conditions exist keep up to date by listening to your local radio or television stations.