Our community was rocked by the tornado May 21, 2022, shortly after receiving a severe thunderstorm warning. Global News highlighted the ‘Alert Ready system for severe thunderstorms has not been issued in four years and winds need to be at least 130 km/hour or hail ≥ seven centimetres in diameter’ (1). Couples Gallery, Arnie’s Chance and Legendary Trail were particularly hard hit with downed trees, roof shingles sucked off with soffit and fascia torn off multiple homes; a devastating and traumatic sight for any of our residents viewing the community in the aftermath of the storm.
So, what causes tornadoes which are not as rare in Canada as people might imagine? Throw in the proper mix of warm air rising during a thunderstorm, surrounding cool air, winds creating swirling air, and a tornado could develop. Infographics on how tornadoes are formed are available from references 2 and 3. As devastating as the storm seemed on May 21, 2022, it would be classified as Fujita Class Zero (FC0) with winds of 105-137 km/hour (2, 3).
What makes our community stand out during these tough times? When cycling through the streets with my wife following the storm, we noticed neighbours helping neighbours, Melfer out with chainsaws clearing blocked roads and roofing crews from ‘Kelly & Sons” securing roofs from additional damage with tarping and other emergency fixes — all this on a Saturday long weekend. I am grateful for such community support and know we will get through this together.
- Callan, I. GTA, Southern Ontario feeling effects of severe thunderstorm. Global news. May 21, 2022. Accessed 22 May 2022. Available at: Globalnews.ca
- Toro, R. Infographic: How, When & Where Tornadoes Form. Live Science.com. Available at: Live Science Accessed 22 May 2022.
- UCAR. Center for Science Education. How tornadoes form. 2022. Available from: ucar.edu Accessed: 21 May 2022.