Hamilton witnessed its first tornado in 18 years


Published July 7, 2023 at 3:00 pm


The funnel cloud that appeared in an area of Hamilton Mountain on July 4 was actually a tornado, the first twister to land in the city in 18 years. 

Albeit, the weakest one, with an Enhanced Fujita-scale rating of EF0 out of a maximum rating of five. The rating is based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. 

A retail building suffered “minor roof damage,” according to the Northern Tornadoes Project. It did not report any injuries or deaths.

The Western University-based research lab in London, Ont., confirmed that a tornado had formed over the Templemead and Rymal areas of Hamilton on July 4. It started in the Templemead neighbourhood at 4:45 p.m., based on witness reports.

“A video showing lofted dust and debris was captured in the Rymal neighbourhood, with witnesses in the immediate area indicating the swirling debris was associated with the funnel cloud visible aloft,” according to the Northern Tornadoes Project.

The lab’s ground and drone survey team documented a short, narrow path of EF0 tornado damage, it said on Twitter. It found two other locations had “minor damage.” 

Videos and photos by witnesses had captured the debris cloud in the area.



The Hamilton twister had an estimated wind speed of 105 kilometres per hour, track length of 0.64 km (referring to the route of a tornado)  and maximum path width of 20 metres.

It was the first tornado Hamilton saw since 2005, The Weather Network reported. It said the 2005 tornado was classified as F1, which tore off the roof from an elementary school and destroyed several homes.

The lab was created in 2017 to improve the detection, prediction and understanding of severe and extreme weather, particularly twisters across Canada, as well as study future implications due to climate change.

A tornado is considered to be a “violently rotating column of air touching the ground,” usually found at the base of a thunderstorm, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

Ontario now saw eight tornadoes this year. Alberta had 14 tornadoes, including a destructive one classified as EF4 this recent Canada Day long weekend, The Weather Network reported. That tornado destroyed three residences and was considered among the most powerful that ever touched down in Canada.

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