1996 Southern Ontario tornadoes

1996 Southern Ontario Tornadoes

Tornado Outbreak
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1996 Southern Ontario tornadoes

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Southern Ontario's worst tornado outbreak of the decade came on Saturday April 20, 1996. Severe weather had raked parts of the U.S. Midwest the day before, where seventeen F2 or greater tornadoes touched down (ten in Illinois alone). A cold front was being dragged eastward into unusually warm and unstable air associated with a strong storm system moving through the northern tier of the U.S. Out of the two significant tornadoes that day, both rated F3, it was remarkable that no lives were lost. Nine people escaped with minor injuries.

Many homes were severely damaged in Williamsford, Arthur, and Violet Hill. Many areas that experienced the tornadoes on May 31, 1985 were hit once again, especially the Grand Valley area. The first tornado that touched down tore a 40 kilometre long path southeast of Owen Sound. A second tornado touched down farther south and took a 60 kilometre track from Arthur to just southwest of Barrie. There was a third brief touchdown near Orillia associated with the parent storm of the second tornado.

Grey County tornado

Ahead of the main cold front, a separate storm formed into a supercell southwest of Williamsford in Grey County, likely triggered by the aging squall line further west. Then, at about 5:50pm, a funnel cloud touched down about five kilometres southwest of Williamsford. Only sporadic tree damage took place at this point. The storm was high-based, and there was a large gap between the tornado and the core of the storm...
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