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Huge hail and severe thunderstorms hit GTA, tornado warnings end for parts of Ontario


The Greater Toronto Area continues to see a bout of hot, muggy weather after a fast-moving row of severe thunderstorms swept through the region Thursday, pelting some areas with large hail and strong winds.

Most of the GTA sat under a severe thunderstorm watch through the middle of the day Thursday, though the watches have since lifted in most areas of the city.

“Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts and large hail,” Environment Canada said Thursday morning in its statement.

The agency said the storms could include wind gusts of 90 to 110 km/h, as well as nickel to ping pong ball-sized hail.

Images sent to CP24 from viewers in Scarborough, Ajax, Pickering and other areas showed piles of large hail, with the ice chunks varying in size from pellets to ping pong balls. Some pooling and temporary power outages were also reported in the wake of intense storms, but no serious damage has been reported.

Large chunks of hail are seen in Scarborough following an intense thunderstorm Thursday, June 16, 2022. (@yourssincerelyjem /Instagram)

Toronto Hydro said its crews were responding to five power outages across the city affecting around 850 customers. The company said that many of the outages were caused by the storm.

Elsewhere in Ontario, tornado warnings and watches were in effect for several hours for a number of areas, including Ottawa, Bancroft, Bon Echo Park, Tweed and Smiths Falls. All have since cleared.

The storms come as much of Ontario sees hot, muggy weather.

A high of 30 C is expected in the city today, with a humidex of 37.

Heat alerts are in effect for most areas west of the GTA, including Hamilton and Niagara, where it could feel as hot as 40 with the humidex.

“Extreme heat continues to bake southwestern Ontario and is spilling into the GTA today,” CP24 Meteorologist Bill Coulter said.

“Clearing will ensue behind the cold front this afternoon and a drier wind will pick up late in the day and through the evening.”

Environment Canada said storms are expected to cut the heat in some areas.

“While hot and humid conditions will persist today, locales that receive showers and thunderstorms may be slightly cooler,” the weather agency noted in a heat warning issued for the City of Hamilton. “Conditions will improve this evening.”

The extreme heat is expected to subside Friday, though it will still be warm, with a high of 26 C, feeling closer to 30 with the humidex.

“Much less humid and more manageable weather for Friday. The weekend will be cooler with loads of sunshine,” Coulter said. “A few showers arrive on Monday with warmer winds returning by midweek.”

Highs of 19 C and 20 C are expected Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Large chunks of hail are seen on the ground in Scarborough following an intense thunderstorm Thursday, June 16, 2022. (@yourssincerelyjem /Instagram)

Toronto Animal Services put out a reminder on Twitter for people not to leave animals in parked cars because of the extreme heat.

“It’s going to be hot today! A reminder to NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. Leaving your pet in a hot car for even a short time can be dangerous, even with windows cracked & in the shade. If you see a pet in distress due to the heat, please call 311,” the agency said.

The city has a cooling network available for anyone who needs relief from the hot, muggy weather. Top Stories

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