Nighttime twister confirmed in Point Clark Friday
The Sun Times

No one was injured after a tornado packing a maximum wind speed of 130 kilometres per hour blew in off Lake Huron in Point Clark Friday night and forced three families out of their homes.

The tornado was confirmed by the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University. It found the length of the tornado’s path was 300 metres and its width was 80 m, leaving trees toppled, some on houses, about 10:15 p.m.

Tornadoes occur rarely after dark, said Dave Sills, executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project, which aims to document every tornado which occurs in Canada.

Most tornadoes occur between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., or earlier in the day, when it’s hottest. “It’s pretty rare to have something occur overnight when it’s dark outside. It makes them more dangerous because people can’t see them coming.”

In this case, the thunderstorm and then tornado got their energy from the collision of warm, humid air running up ahead of a cold front. It was the last in a line of thunderstorms, which happened to be at Point Clark, which produced the tornado, Sills said.

Huron-Kinloss Fire Chief Chris Cleave was home watching TV when a severe thunderstorm warning was broadcast across the screen, warning of the potential of tornadoes. He’s also the community emergency management co-ordinator.

Later, firefighters and police were dispatched to the scene of a possible tornado.

He said in an interview Monday firefighters found a number of trees tipped over and five to seven homes or accessory buildings were damaged by falling trees at Point Clark, in the southwest corner of the municipality, south of Kincardine.

Initially three families were evacuated overnight and possibly for longer, with the help of victim services.

Power in the immediate area was out due to the storm and was not restored until the next evening, Cleave said. Clean up of the tornado damage is ongoing, involving Hydro One, Huron-Kinloss public works staff and private contractors, he said.

As tornadoes go, this was on the weak side said Sills, a former severe weather scientist at Environment Canada.

The maximum estimated wind speed of 130 km/h in this tornado — based on the toppled trees causing all the damage — represents the top end of the wind speed associated with Enhanced Fujita scale rating of EF0, the weakest tornado designation on that scale.

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