Friday, July 12, 2024

Tornadoes in Canada

| June 5, 2023 1:05 AM

In early April, I wrote about the number of tornadoes that were seen across the country. For 2023, there have been 790 preliminary sightings of twisters, with 624 confirmed. The average number each year is over 1,200 tornadoes. However, the U.S. is not the only country to see these giant storms.

Based on data from Wikipedia, on Jan. 17, a strong, brief tornado hit Valmontone, a commune in Rome, Italy. There was significant damage and two people were injured. The European Severe Storms Laboratory estimated that the twister rated at an F2 on the Fujita scale. The beginning of February led to two tornadoes being produced from a severe thunderstorm in Hinte, Germany. Hinte is a small village located in the northern portion of the country.

March was an active month for severe weather, especially in the U.S. and other parts of the world. For example, a strong F2 twister hit several small towns and villages in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France on March 9. There were reports of minor to moderate damage of buildings. A large and dusty tornado hit near Taif, Saudi Arabia, on March 13, resulting in one fatality.

Another unusual report of a tornado happened in the Los Angeles area March 22. An EF1 twister went through the city’s suburb of Montebello that caused widespread damage. This was also the strongest tornado to hit the Los Angeles metro area since 1983. Fazilka, India, reported a large tornado March 24 that damaged 50 masonry homes.

The Mediterranean region of Europe experienced a round of severe weather April 10. An F2 twister was reported in Turkey that caused some damage to area homes. Another twister was seen in Turkey on April 20 and again May 6. China also had a tornado for the 2023 season. It occurred in the Shandong Province and there were reports of significant damage. Other areas that reported severe weather with damaging tornadoes in April included Myanmar on April 21, Oman on April 22-23 and Indonesia on April 28.

Our friends to the north in Canada also experience tornadoes. On average, this country receives an official average of about 61 twisters every year. Their season runs from May through October and most of them are reported in the central Prairie Provinces. However, there have been many instances when twisters were seen at other times of the year. For example, on Nov. 15, there was a twister that was seen in Ontario. There was also a November tornado in British Columbia in 2021, which was a very rare event. By the way, this western province of Canada officially averages less than one tornado per year.

As we know, Canada is a big country that has low population densities. The country is the second largest in terms of land mass behind Russia. The chances of more tornadoes touching down in Canada without people witnessing the event are high. Therefore, it’s very likely that their average number of twisters each year is likely two or three times higher than 61.

On Saturday, May 27, Canada reported its first tornado of the season. Amazingly, this is the latest that this country has reported an official tornado since 2015. This one was spotted approximately 4 miles southeast of Regina in the Saskatchewan Province. It was rated as an EF1 and there was some minor damage reported with the storm.

In terms of our local weather, our May precipitation total at Cliff’s station in northwestern Coeur d’Alene was 2.94 inches, which was above the average of 2.37 inches. The bulk of the rainfall for last month fell between May 5 and May 10 with 2.10 inches. The wettest day was May 5, when a strong thunderstorm produced a record 1.11 inches. At the Spokane International Airport, only 1.35 inches of moisture was reported last month, which was slightly below their May normal of 1.55 inches.

It is amazing to see the differences in the amount of rainfall in the region, especially between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. The microclimates in North Idaho are certainly noticeable. I received an email from a reader who reported a big difference in rainfall approximately 10 miles away. He mentioned that at Cliff’s station, only 0.02 inches fell, but a downpour dropped 0.95 inches for a total of 1.21 inches for the day at his station. The peak rainfall rate during the heavy rainfall was a whopping 6.12 inches per hour.

We’re currently in a drier-than-normal weather pattern across the region. However, the long-range computer models are indicating an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms later this week and around the normally wet new moon lunar phase beginning June 17. Also, we’re still forecasting that the late June through August period will likely be drier than average, but we don’t believe it will be quite as dry as last year.

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