Environment Canada damage survey teams will be checking to see if three possible tornadoes touched down in Ontario Wednesday.

Severe thunderstorms ripped across central Ontario late Wednesday afternoon and left more than a dozen communities under tornado watch Wednesday evening.

The thunderstorms passed through Arthur, Ont., to Orillia, Ont., to Minden, Ont. The communities are about 155 kilometres apart.


This picture was taken near Arthur, Ont., on Wednesday afternoon, as a series of thunderstorms moved through south and south-central Ontario. (Image courtesy of David T. Chapman)

The thunderstorms moved eastward, according to Environment Canada's special weather statements for the province, and maintained their severity as the passed over parts of eastern Ontario.

Photo and video footage suggests some of the thunderstorms produced tornadoes.

Environment Canada has not yet confirmed the potential tornadoes times, locations or strengths. However, the agency believes they occurred:

  • Near Carnarvon, Ont., at 5 p.m.
  • Near Orillia, Ont., at 5 p.m.
  • Near Arthur, Ont., at 6:30 p.m.

Carnarvon, Ont., is about 16 kilometres northeast of Minden.

This morning, Environment Canada planned to send damage survey teams to assess the location and strength of several reports. This weather summary contains preliminary information and may not constitute an official or final report.