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Tornadoes

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Tornado facts

  • Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country with the exception of the United States.
  • Tornadoes are rotating columns of high winds.
  • Sometimes they move quickly (up to 70 km/hour) and leave a long, wide path of destruction. At other times the tornado is small, touching down here and there.
  • Large or small, they can uproot trees, flip cars and demolish houses.
  • Tornadoes usually hit in the afternoon and early evening, but they have been known to strike at night too.

Warning signs of a potential tornado

Warning signs include:

  • Severe thunderstorms, with frequent thunder and lightning
  • An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds
  • A rumbling sound or a whistling sound.
  • A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.

Canada's tornado warning system

Environment Canada is responsible for warning the public when conditions exist that may produce tornadoes. It does this through radio, television, newspapers, its internet site, as well as through its weather phone lines.

  • If you live in one of Canada's high-risk areas, you should listen to your radio during severe thunderstorms.