Tornado near Charron Lake, AB, 21 Jul 2002

Tornado in Canada

Though tornadoes are less common and generally less destructive in Canada than in the U.S., several violent and deadly ones have occurred, including F4 tornadoes at Edmonton AB (31 Jul 1987) and Barrie ON (31 May 1985). Picturesque tornadic supercells with classical structure probably occur every summer on the Canadian prairies and high plains, such as this one in Alberta, where the peak of tornado occurrence is in July. In this photo, the tornado dangles beneath a wall cloud from a relatively high-based supercell, with the rear-flank gust front at left, the mesocyclone in the middle and the forward flank core at right. Severe weather watches and warnings north of the border are issued by the Meteorological Service of Canada, part of Environment Canada. Tornado forecasting and warnings in Canada are handicapped by a lack of dense upper air and radar data, and by vast distances between concentrations of storm spotters.