Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Toronto, parts of GTA
Published Friday, July 19, 2013 8:19AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 19, 2013 10:56PM EDT
Toronto and much of the Greater Toronto Area remains under a severe thunderstorm watch as an intense weather system moves across southern Ontario.
For the second day in a row, a flurry of tornado warnings from Environment Canada were issued for areas of cottage country and much of southern Ontario, including Barrie, Orillia, Innisfil, Hamilton, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Mississauga and Oakville, to name just a few.
All tornado warnings issued for southern Ontario were ended shortly after 8 p.m.
As the system moves rapidly to the east, the risk of thunderstorms in the region will remain throughout the rest of the evening, CP24 meteorologist Chris Potter said.
As of 10:15 p.m., Hydro One was reporting about 156,000 customers were without power in central and northeastern Ontario.
Locally, as of 10 p.m., approximately 7,000 customers were without power in the city, Toronto Hydro said.
The heaviest hit areas are Etobicoke and Midtown.
Downed trees and power lines have been reported throughout the city and surrounding area.
Residents in Toronto can report any issues to the city by calling 311.
The thunderstorms came as Ontarians sweltered in the heat for the fourth day in a row.
The heat wave is expected to end when cooler and drier air moves in from the north Friday night, giving residents some relief from the searing heat and humidity.
Toronto hit a sweltering high of 34 C on Friday but it felt more like 43 with the humidity.
Some thunderstorms may carry over into Saturday morning, as the weather returns to or just below seasonal.
Saturday will be mainly sunny with a high of 27 C, and Sunday will be sunny with a high of 23 C.
Normal temperatures for this time of year are highs of 26 C and lows of 15 C.
Toronto’s first official heat wave of 2013 was declared Thursday when the temperature eclipsed 32 C for the third consecutive day.
The following cooling centres are open to the public until Toronto Public Health calls off its extreme heat alert:
- Centennial Recreation Centre, 1967 Ellesmere Rd. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane St. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- McGregor Community Centre, 2231 Lawrence Ave. E. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Metro Hall, 55 John St. (open 24 hours)
- North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
People can also cool off in shopping centres and public libraries.
Though city-run pools had remained open late into the night the last few days, officials said Friday swimming pools would close at the regular scheduled time because of the threat of thunderstorms.
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