Tornadoes over Ottawa just ‘bad luck’ says Environment Canada

While it says it’s impossible to tell if annual tornadoes will the be new norm in the capital, Environment Canada says the two instances experienced in Ottawa so far are simply a symptom of “bad luck.”

Several properties were damaged and trees felled after a tornado hit the Orléans area Sunday evening.

This is the second event of a tornado to hit the capital in less than a year. On Sept. 21, 2018, several homes in Dunrobin were destroyed and homes and a Hydro One transfer station in Nepean were heavily damaged when several twisters tore through the National Capital Region.

While the frequency of these events has the potential to concern residents, Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimbell says these storms could have happened anywhere. They just happened to take place over Ottawa, he said.

“So far the entire province has only had one tornado this year, in Ottawa,” said Kimball. “It’s just a lot of bad luck.”

Kimball said the highest frequency of tornadoes in the province occurs in “tornado alley,” a narrow corridor from Windsor and Sarnia through London. But according to Kimball, even in 2018, the province was close to par on the average amount of events per year.

Some residents were concerned with the lack of warning they received before the tornado hit. Kimball says this was a symptom of how quickly to storm formed.

Kimball says two systems merged and quickly created the prime environment for a tornado, the new system that emerged from the combining of the other two was noticed by the observer at the Gatineau airport at around the same time the cyclone was forming.

In the two tornado events experienced in the capital there have been zero fatalities.

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