thunderstorm watch toronto

Toronto under thunderstorm watch with chance of ping-pong ball-sized hail

Toronto could be in for a heck of a thunderstorm, with Environment Canada issuing a severe thunderstorm watch for the city just before 11:30 on Thursday morning.

The alert for the City of Toronto warns that "conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts and large hail."

Skies may be sunny as of the noon hour, but things could change quickly, with Environment Canada stating that "thunderstorms are expected to develop early this afternoon with the potential for quick intensification as they progress eastward."

And when meteorologists say "intensification," they are rarely exaggerating, as is the case here.

Toronto could be whipped with wind gusts of 90 to 110 km/h (hurricane-force scale begins at 119 km/h), and if that wasn't scary enough, Environment Canada is predicting those winds to be carrying "nickel to ping pong ball size hail."

In case it wasn't already plainly evident to everyone, these conditions spell out extreme danger for anyone unable to seek shelter.

According to Environment Canada, "large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors."

The risk for severe thunderstorms is expected to diminish by late afternoon.

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