Unstable conditions, heavy moisture combine for storm that swept London area Wednesday

A tornado touched down Wednesday evening in Lucan and a second may have developed in Drumbo, an Environment Canada meteorologist said.

The storm began north of London, Geoff Coulson said.

“It appears we had a tornado in the Lucan area and we had a damage survey team in that area this morning,” he said. “That same storm cell kept moving eastward . . . It produced another potential tornado in the Drumbo area after 8 p.m. last evening. At this point in time, we’re not aware of any damage in the Drumbo area.”

Coulson said that Environment Canada was looking into whether any damage was caused in Drumbo northeast of Woodstock.

“We knew going into yesterday that a lot of ingredients were coming together,” he said. “We had a lot of moisture in the low levels of the atmosphere, conditions were very unstable, and because of that, a severe thunderstorm watch went out on Wednesday morning.”

The noteworthy thing about Wednesday night’s storm, Coulson said, was it had no associated lightning.

“That can happen from time to time,” he said. “A storm that’s not producing anything in terms of lightning can still produce a tornado.”

Environment Canada has a group called CANWARN, made up of trained weather spotters who report on funnel cloud sightings and damage caused in the area. Coulson said Environment Canada is increasingly relying on social media to spot funnel clouds and tornadoes.

Read also the weather for today in London.

“Through a combination of volunteer storm weather reports, as well as what we were seeing showing up on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, we were able to get a sense that there potentially was a tornado in Lucan and hearing of the damage seems to make that more certain,” Coulson said.

“In the Drumbo area, initially the pictures were showing more of a funnel cloud and we weren’t quite sure if there was contact with the surface. But more pictures have come in that make it look like there was also a tornado and we’re trying to determine if there was any damage on the ground.”

Read other news on the city site of London.

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