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Seriously. At the end of this entry I’ll copy/pasta the Environment Canada findings, since their link keeps changing.

Yesterday, quite a few storm chasers in Ontario were hunting down what was to be the Perfect Storm. While the radar seemed to be clear and skies in Ontario were beautiful, not many realized that one of this summer’s most dangerous storms was hiding, lying in wait. As if the Goderich tornado wasn’t bad enough, a hook cell (same type that pummeled Goderich) was brewing and would hit in the late evening hours.

Most times it cools in the evening and storms dissipate, but this one seemed to grow in speed and strength the cooler it got. Around 7p the skies were darkening and around 9.38p my city was under a tornado warning and we were being told to take shelter – literally.

An hour holed up in my bathroom, watching chasers give reports on Twitter while on the phone with my girlfriend was possibly the most frightening time of my life. I had to watch as power came and went, cable went out and faded in. The sounds outside my apartment windows were horrific. Shrieking winds and such pressure on the glass that I thought it would break. Thunder that was booming and constant. Frequent lightning that would cause my cell signal to break.

I’ve been through countless severe storms and tornado warnings but this was by far, the worst. I was honestly fucking scared out of my mind. It got so bad that my best friend -on her netbook and communicating with me via IM- actually went down to her basement with her mother and waited the storm out there. Her mother doesn’t usually get scared with these storms. No one takes them seriously, which could have been bad considering a tornado did touch down.

Thankfully, it was merely an F1 and most damage to my friend’s places were busted patio furniture, a broken front bay window, roofing that just disappeared, never to be found. A bridge, known out here as the Burlington Skyway Bridge, lost a good majority of it’s scaffolding during the worst of it. I waited a good hour after the warning was lifted before leaving my bathroom and wandering onto the balcony.

The lightshow at the tail end of that storm was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I cabbed to a friend’s place to take a video from her 7th storey balcony, and put it all together in a time-lapse:

At the time I don’t have any damage photos that I can give out, but once I get permission, you can count on them being posted here.

These are the radar images from the storm, one at 10:30p and one at 10:40p as it would pass over Hamilton, ON (where I am – the red marker):

radar image 001.

radar img 002.

Now, onto the Environment Canada report (also here – not sure if it’ll work):
AWCN11 CWTO 252224
WEATHER SUMMARY FOR ALL OF SOUTHERN ONTARIO AND THE
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION ISSUED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA
AT 6:24 PM EDT THURSDAY 25 AUGUST 2011.

-------------------------------------------------------------
==WEATHER EVENT DISCUSSION==

ENVIRONMENT CANADA CONFIRMS THE SIXTH TORNADO OF THE SEASON.

A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS AFFECTED MUCH OF SOUTHERN ONTARIO
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT, ASSOCIATED WITH A SHARP
COLD FRONT. CONDITIONS WERE FAVOURABLE FOR THE FORMATION OF
TORNADOES, AND SEVERAL WALL CLOUDS AND FUNNEL CLOUDS WERE REPORTED.
NO INJURIES OR FATALITIES HAVE BEEN REPORTED.

AN ENVIRONMENT CANADA DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM HAS CONFIRMED THAT A FUJITA
SCALE ONE (F1) TORNADO WITH PEAK WINDS BETWEEN 120 AND 170 KM/H
OCCURRED WEDNESDAY EVENING IN AN AREA BETWEEN CABRIDGE AND
BURLINGTON. THE TRACK WAS FOUND TO BEGIN NEAR LITTLE'S CORNERS AND
END NEAR WESTOVER, WITH THE GREATEST DAMAGE IN KIRKWALL. THE TOTAL
DAMAGE TRACK WAS APPROXIMATELY 15 KILOMETRES LONG AND MAXIMUM 300
METRES WIDE. THE DAMAGE RATING WAS BASED ON TREE DAMAGE NOTED ALONG
THE DAMAGE TRACK. OTHER SPORADIC TREE DAMAGE WAS NOTED IN THE
VICINITY OF THIS TRACK BUT IS BELIEVED THIS DAMAGE WAS DUE TO
STRAIGHT LINE WINDS AND NOT A TORNADO.

ENVIRONMENT CANADA WILL CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE THE NUMEROUS ACCOUNTS
OF SEVERE WEATHER FROM ACROSS SOUTHWESTERN AND SOUTHCENTRAL ONTARIO
THAT OCCURRED WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THIS SUMMARY WILL BE
UPDATED AS NEW INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE IN THE COMING DAYS.

FOLLOWING ARE SOME OF THE REPORTS RECEIVED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA AS
OF 6:00 PM EDT THURSDAY.
-------------------------------------------------------------
TIME(LCL) LOCATION EVENT DESCRIPTION

6:48 PM POINT EDWARD TOONIE TO PING PONG BALL SIZE HAIL
(NEAR SARNIA)

6:56 PM LUCKNOW FUNNEL CLOUD, TREE DAMAGE
POSSIBLE TORNADO

7:22 PM SOUTH OF DURHAM ESTIMATED 100 KM/H WIND GUST

7:25 PM NEUSTADT TREE DAMAGE

7:47 PM KETTLE POINT GOLF BALL TO TENNIS BALL SIZE HAIL
IPPERWASH
FOREST

7:50 PM GRAND BEND 100 KM/H WIND GUST
FUNNEL CLOUD, HAIL

7:55 PM LUCAN NICKEL SIZE HAIL

7:58 PM DUNDALK 90-100 KM/H WIND GUST
MARBLE SIZE HAIL

8:10 PM FERGUS 100 KM/H WIND GUST (EST)
MARBLE SIZE HAIL

8:15 PM PARKHILL/NAIRN TWISTED TREE DAMAGE
POSSIBLE TORNADO

8:31 PM GODERICH GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL

8:33 PM SARNIA QUARTER SIZE HAIL

8:35 PM PETROLIA FUNNEL CLOUD

8:35 PM CAMBRIDGE 100 KM/H WIND GUST, TREE DAMAGE

8:38 PM SOUTH OF PETROLIA MARBLE SIZE HAIL

8:42 PM KETTLE POINT GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL
UPROOTED TREES

8:44 PM LUCAN 50 MM RAIN IN 30 MINUTES

9:07 PM GALT(SOUTHEAST CAMBRIDGE) CONFIRMED F1 TORNADO

9:10 PM KITCHENER LOCAL FLOODING

9:20 PM THEDFORD GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL
(SOUTH OF GRAND BEND)

9:20 PM FERGUS/GUELPH FUNNEL CLOUD

9:27 PM BURLINGTON 85 KM/H WIND GUST, TREE DAMAGE

9:31 PM HAMILTON 100 KM/H WIND GUST
SCATTERED DEBRIS

9:36 PM LONDON TREES DOWN

9:37 PM FLAMBOROUGH TREES DOWN

10:00 PM RODNEY QUARTER SIZE HAIL, HEAVY RAIN

10:00 PM PORT WELLER WIND GUST 78 KM/H

10:12 PM CENTRAL MIDDLESEX FUNNEL CLOUD TOUCHED DOWN AND
COUNTY TORE ROOF OFF DRIVE SHED
POSSIBLE TORNADO

10:12 PM AILSA CRAIG TREE WENT THROUGH A TENT
(NORTHWEST OF LONDON)

10:28 PM NIAGARA DIME SIZE HAIL, HIGH WINDS
TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR

11:00 PM KITCHENER 33 MM RAIN IN 1 HOUR

11:35 PM KINGSVILLE POSSIBLE FUNNEL CLOUD

12:00 AM PETAWAWA 64 MM OF RAIN FROM 7:00 PM

02:18 AM LONG POINT WIND GUST 97 KM/H

THIS WEATHER SUMMARY CONTAINS PRELIMINARY INFORMATION
AND MAY NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFICIAL OR FINAL REPORT.

END/OSPC

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