London

Sunday's severe weather included 3 tornadoes in the London region, experts confirm

Western University researchers have confirmed that at least three tornadoes touched down in the region Sunday and they're investigating the possibility of more.

A team of researchers is surveying the area to determine if more twisters made their way to the area

Damage can be seen in this aerial shot of Beachville, near Woodstock where researchers say a tornado with winds of 150 km/h touched down on Sunday. (@dave_sills/Twitter)

Western University researchers have confirmed that at least three tornadoes touched down in the London, Ont. region Sunday and they're investigating the possibility of more.

"It's tricky," said David Sills, the executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) at Western University, a team of researchers dedicated to examining tornadoes. "As more reports come in, you can connect the dots more easily and see which ones seem to line up and those are the ones we're investigating because there's just scattered damage all over the place."

The twisters made their way toward the region Sunday morning during severe weather that prompted Environment Canada to issue tornado warnings in several parts of southern Ontario. 

In the London area, Sills said the investigation by NTP initially revealed that a weak tornado, known as an EF0 with winds between 90 and 130 km/h, touched down in Belmont, just southeast of London, while an EF1, with winds between 135 and 175 km/h, touched down north of Lucan.

Tuesday afternoon, the team confirmed a third tornado, with winds racing at 150 km/h, that ripped through Beachville, near Woodstock. 

Since Monday the team of researchers has been surveying the area and tracing the storm's path, and Sills said it is quite possible that more tornadoes made their way to the region. On Tuesday, the team was assessing damage in the area between Exeter and Tavistock, just northeast of London.  

During the investigation, Sills said social media has been one of the team's biggest allies.  

"It takes some time to dig through it all and social media is critical," he said.

"With this particular event, we've had a tidal wave of reports that we're sorting through. We have one person tasked with putting all these reports together on a map so we can start connecting the dots and trying to figure out where we need to prioritize as far as damage investigation."

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