Muskoka To-DAILY

June wettest since 2010 – but no tornados like rest of Ontario

MUSKOKA — The good news is we avoided another tornado — like the one that ripped the roof off the curling club a few years ago.

But Muskoka was definitely wet in June.

We received 133 mm of rain, compared to the normal 85 mm amount. That’s a difference of 48 mm, which is the wettest since 2010.

Elsewhere, Tornado Tuesdays, flooding and heavy rainfall events will remain on Ontarian’s minds when looking back at June 2014, says Environment Canada warning preparedness meteorologist Geoff Coulson in his monthly report.

He says precipitation continued to be well above normal values in Northern Ontario, especially in the Northwest, with many locales receiving more than double the expected precipitation for the month of June.  Central and Eastern Ontario were also significantly wetter-than-normal.  On the other hand, the northernmost portions of the Far North, Northeastern and Southwestern Ontario experienced drier-than-normal conditions this month, receiving about a third of the precipitation expected in June.

In terms of temperatures, across the province, mean temperatures ranged from normal to warmer-than-normal.  The largest departures from normal were 2-3 degrees above the expected values for the month.

Severe Weather

After a bit of a slow start this year to strong thunderstorm activity in Ontario, Mother Nature played catch-up in June with a variety of damaging storms occurring across the province.

Five more tornadoes were added to the list this month with two occurring on June 17 followed by two more a week later on June 24 and then a final one on June 30 bringing the total for the season so far to seven. Around 5:20 PM on June 17, one of the tornadoes tore through the community of Angus to the west of Barrie causing significant damage to over 100 homes. The tornado was rated as an Enhanced Fujita Scale 2 (EF2) event with peak winds between 200 and 220 km/h. The tornado had a track over 20 kilometres long and 300 metres wide. The second tornado on June 17 occurred in the community of Stroud to the south of Barrie, about 10 minutes later, around 5:30 PM. It was rated as an EF1 tornado with peak winds between 155 and 175 km/h. It had a length of 750 metres and a width of 300 metres.

Earlier on June 17th, severe storms triggered lightning activity north of Toronto. At a golf course in Stouffville, four golfers were struck by lightning, with one seriously injured. This clearly reaffirmed the risk to personal safety that lightning poses, and underscored Environment Canada’s recommendation that “when thunder roars, go indoors.”

A week later, on June 24 at around 3:30 PM, an EF1 tornado moved through the community of Laurel Station to the northwest of Orangeville. Peak winds associated with this tornado were between 135 and 175 km/h and the tornado had a damage path 7 kilometres long and about 150 metres wide. Shortly after that event at just after 4 PM, another EF1 tornado impacted an area to the east of Tottenham producing a damage path approximately 10 kilometres long.

The fifth tornado in June was observed by fisherman over BearLake (30 kilometres northwest of Huntsville) on June 30th. Only some minor tree damage was reported so this event was rated as an EF0 tornado with peak winds between 90 and 130 km/h.

Significant rainfall also occurred during the month. During the late afternoon and early evening of Wednesday, June 25, a series of heavy showers developed and re-developed over the city of Toronto. Amounts varied widely across the city from 20 to up to almost 70 millimetres. Notable flooding was reported in a number of areas including the south end of the Don Valley Parkway which caused traffic tie-ups in that part of the city.

Rainfall throughout the month was the big story in northwestern Ontario. FortFrances recorded the highest regional monthly rainfall amount, receiving 231.1 millimetres. Normal June rainfall for FortFrances is 119 millimetres. This was the wettest June in FortFrances since the record-setting rainfall of 292.9 millimetres occurred in June of 2002. Kenora, Atikokan, Dryden and Sioux Lookout also reported much wetter conditions than normal. The heavy rains resulted in states of emergency being declared by the towns of FortFrances, RainyRiver and Emo and a number of First Nation communities in that area as roads washed out and fields became flooded.

Heavy rainfall also caused road washouts near Haliburton during the evening of June 30th. Within a 2 hour period, 77 mm of rain fell. And earlier on the same day (June 30th), thunderstorm activity over northeastern Ontario caused locally severe weather.  One particularly severe storm brought larger-than-golfball-size hail to portions of the City of Timmins and just to the east to the town of Porcupine. Vehicles and buildings were pounded by the hail causing notable damage.

Unusual mean temperature readings (in °C), ranked by variation from normal:
Location Mean Temp Normal* Difference Warmest since
Petawawa 19.1 16.1 3.0 2012
Wawa 14.7 11.9 2.8 2012
Moosonee 13.9 11.9 2.0 2012
Unusual precipitation readings (in mm), ranked by variation from normal:  
Location Precipitation Normal* Difference Driest since
Sarnia 30.3 85.6 -55.3 1988
Kitchener/Waterloo 46.7 81.3 -34.6 2007
Sudbury 48.5 77.8 -29.3 2005
Earlton 49.8 77.1 -27.3 2012
Location Precipitation Normal* Difference Wettest since
Sioux Lookout 206.0 97.3 108.7 2005
Ottawa Downtown 156.2 91.2 65.0 2013
Trenton 136.2 79.5 56.7 2010
Kenora 159.2 107.8 51.4 2007
Moosonee 120.2 71.1 49.1 2005
PickleLake 136.1 87.8 48.3 2009
Muskoka 133.7 85.5 48.2 2010
OttawaAirport 131.0 85.0 46.0 2013
Dryden 145.2 105.1 40.1 2007
Thunder Bay 119.5 85.7 33.8 2008

* Climate Normals for the period 1971-2000


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