I can certainly say I’ve experienced something this evening that I’ve never experienced before in my life – Tornado warnings.
Just a short while after 6:30 p.m. the skies darkened and the winds started to pick up here in Toronto. My husband and I were watching TV at the time so we turned to TheWeatherNetwork.com and discovered that there were Tornado warnings for a large area of Southern Ontario … oddest of all there were Tornado warnings for Toronto itself!
While Tornados aren’t uncommon for the southern Ontario area, they are extremely rare in the city of Toronto itself! The last one that hit the city was in 2005 and I believe that was on the outskirts of the city.
It was eerie to hear the news people on TV and later on the radio telling us to take cover in our basements or an inner room in our house. I don’t recall ever hearing warnings like that before.
When the storm hit our area it began with rolling thunder that shook the house. Then came sheet lightening and finally it began to rain so hard that we couldn’t see across the street. It was like a blizzard!
During the storm we could see branches and leaves coming down from neighboring trees.
Later, when the storm finally began to pass the sky turned a strange greenish yellow. The radio station we were listening to kept saying that the green sky could indicate more funnel clouds.
Speaking of funnel clouds and actual Tornados … a large black funnel cloud was spotted during the storm passing through the center of downtown Toronto (not all that far from us!). It doesn’t sound like that one touched down anywhere, thank God.
However, there were several sightings of funnel clouds throughout the Greater Toronto area and at least two Tornados touched down. One in Durham (north west of the city near Barrie) and the other in Vaughan (20 KM northwest of Toronto). I’m sure before the night is over there will be more news of funnel clouds and possibly other Tornado touchdowns!
Still, it was so weird to have actual Tornado warnings right here in the city of Toronto. I hope I never hear warnings like that again!
The area where the storm and Tornado warnings were being given for stretched from Windsor Ontario in the South to the Bancroft Ontario area in the North East of the province. Bancroft is actually pretty close to where my old cottage area is and man did we ever have some major thunder and lightening storms there!
I think my husband was really freaked out. Just before the storm started hitting he went upstairs and got two of his guitars and put them in the basement (why he didn’t get all of them I don’t know, but I guess he got his two favorites). He also started gathering up his wallet, our cellphone and my purse and put them where we could grab them if anything happened (like maybe the big tree next door crashing on our house?). Then .. he started babbling about moving our “important papers” and things like our photo albums to a safe place. All good ideas, but since the storm was starting to hit I had to remind him that what was important to save was the two of us, our dog and maybe our two box turtles.
Now I know that some of my readers live in areas where there are regular Tornado warnings and or Hurricane warnings, but for me, living in a large city where warnings and Tornado touch downs are virtually unheard of it was all just a bit surreal!
What strange weather we’ve had this summer – from too cool to too hot and humid to Tornados!
BTW I took some pictures after the storm, I’ll put them up shortly. The sky was cool looking. Update – I posted one spectacular photo on my photoblog – take a peak. It’s called “After the Storm“.