Ottertrack Lake, ON

Jul 06, 2017

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Damage Estimate
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Injuries
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Deaths
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Supercell crosses Quetico Provincial Park, spawns tornado that decimates forest

This tornado occurred at about 3:40pm, spawned by one of several powerful supercells that tracked across Northwestern Ontario on July 6. It touched down at Ottertrack Lake near the international border, west of Thunder Bay, and had a path that was 10 kilometres long and up to 500 metres wide. Along its path, the forest was decimated; according to Environment Canada, ‘most trees were flattened’. The damage path was located and the tornado was subsequently confirmed as the result of a Northern Ontario Tornado Project reconnaissance flight that scouted the remote area for damage in the days following the storm.

Above: The path of the EF2 tornado across Ottertrack Lake is clearly visible, documented by researchers from the Northern Tornadoes Flyover Project

Above: The tornado’s path was up to 900 metres wide as it decimated areas of forest

Above: Swirling and convergent patterns clearly visible in the blowdowns left in the wake of the EF2 tornado along the shores of Ottertrack Lake

Above: Catastrophic EF2 forest damage near Ottertrack Lake in Quetico Provincial Park, documented by researchers with the Northern Tornadoes Flyover Project

Above: Devastation in the wilderness near Ottertrack Lake, thankfully in a remote and unpopulated region of Northern Ontario

Although environment Canada’s original storm summary listed the damage path as being only 2 kilometres long and 100 metres wide, further analysis as part of the Northern Tornadoes Flyover Project revealed the length of the path and the width of the tornado to be significantly greater than originally thought. Aerial data collection including high-resolution photos and videos of the damage have been documented for the study that is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Western Ontario and at Environment Canada.

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