toronto weather

Special weather alert issued for Toronto as dangerous thunderstorms approach

As nature has shown us time and again, there are far worse things a brutal heat wave can bring about than sweat stains — like violent thunderstorms that rip off shingles, take out power lines or crush cars with giant KFC buckets.

A real doozy is in store for Toronto this afternoon or evening, according to Environment Canada, with rainfall potentially exceeding 50 mm in total and wind speeds of up to 90 km/h.

"Conditions are favourable for the development of dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts and torrential rain," warned the federal weather agency in a severe thunderstorm watch early Thursday afternoon.

The watch was upgraded to a warning at 3:43 p.m.

"Isolated thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon. The main threat with these thunderstorms will be torrential rainfall that may lead to localized flooding, particularly in more urbanized areas and areas of poor drainage."

We all know how messy that kind of situation can get here in Toronto, but it's not all doom and gloom.

Depending on where you live and how much patio furniture you stand to lose, this storm might actually improve your life a bit over the next few days as it ushers in slightly cooler air after nearly an entire week of heat warnings.

"Thursday looks to be the final day of the sweltering conditions for most of the province. Daytime highs will reach the low to mid-30s once more, but the humidex values will make it feel like the low 40s," notes The Weather Network.

"That high heat and humidity could be enough to fuel a severe thunderstorm threat on Thursday... Heavy downpours, small hail and strong winds are expected where storms do reach severe limits."

No word yet on when, precisely, this storm is expected to hit (they're meteorologists, not clairvoyants,) but EnviroCan says current atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall or any combination of the above.

"Fast-moving water across a road can sweep a vehicle away. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads," reads today's thunderstorm watch.

"Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!"

As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, Toronto and most other regions in Southern Ontario remain under both a heat warning and a severe thunderstorm watch. Lucky us.

Lead photo by

Lori Whelan


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