Lightning storms ravaged Toronto this weekend and the photos are otherworldly
After more than a week of sticky, soupy, oppressive heat and humidity, Toronto's weather has finally shifted into more comfortable territory with temperatures in the low to mid-20s expected all week long — but oh, what a violent transition it was.
Severe thunderstorms ripped across Southern Ontario on both Saturday and Sunday nights, bringing with them heavy rain, hail and wind gusts of nearly 100 km/h.
While ferocious, the back-to-back storms were stunning to behold as frequent bursts of lightning sparked up the night sky.
Extensive damage was reported on Saturday evening in Toronto's west end, where fire officials say at least 30 power lines were toppled.
By Sunday evening, some 20,000 Toronto Hydro customers were without electricity. Approximately 30,000 more Hydro One customers were left in the dark across the region.
Watching and waiting as the storm rolls in over the city. This 30 second long exposure managed to capture 4 simultaneous lightning strikes! #photography #ONStorm #thunderstorm pic.twitter.com/AWA2N9CFUf— fabiopais.eth (@fabio_pais) August 30, 2021
Both Hydro One and Toronto Hydro said crews were still working to restore full service as of Monday morning. The rest of us are looking at and posting footage from the weekend's spectacular meteorological event.
The storms were so wild that police had to issue a PSA asking people to stop calling 911 for "weather related" issues. No word on if anyone reported a massive UFO over the city, which is what the clouds looked like at one point.
"Calls that include trees & wires down, flooding, etc., with no injuries please contact 3-1-1 for assistance," wrote the Toronto Police Service in a PSA on Twitter Saturday night."9-1-1 is for emergencies only."
With Hurricane Ida raging south of the border and severe weather alerts in effect all over Ontario, it's easy to see why people were a bit freaked out.
Some pretty perfect #stormcell #cloud structure coming across Lake #Ontario seen from #TorontoIsland. More pics soon. #storm #extremeweather #onstorm #Toronto #wxtwitter #ONwx @weathernetwork @xWxClub pic.twitter.com/NlIKAMcGYz— stormchasenorth (@stormchasenorth) August 29, 2021
These were not tiny strikes of lightning, either, but hundreds of huge flashes with the potential for nickel-sized hail in the mix.
Many peo0ple actually enjoyed the lightning show, of course — particularly the many talented photographers living in or visiting Toronto.
The fact that we got two nights of lightning in a row gave people who missed the first round a chance to snap some wicked shots on Sunday.
Now that the storms have passed, Toronto is significantly cooler and less humid than before. We're now almost "near seasonal," according to meteorologists.
"The cooler, near seasonal temperatures will continue to dominate throughout the week as opposed to the hot and soupy airmass that brought the unbearable humidex into the 40s last week," reads an update from the Weather Network published Monday morning.
"Most of the week should also remain dry, with no large-scale storm systems moving across the region and the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida remaining stateside."
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