Ontario Storms of July 19th

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The setup for Sunday July 19th was an interesting one. A cold front was to come slicing through southern Ontario/Quebec in the evening hours. The big question was how much the early morning storms were going to “screw up” the environment for the later stuff.

Pretty much everyone was on board that some type of severe weather risk was in store for parts of Ontario, but a lot had different opinions on what exactly was going to happen. I was pretty confident a severe weather outbreak was in store, regardless of the evening storms, the morning storms were going to pack a punch. If the morning storms didn’t do it, then the evening storms would. So it was pretty much a guaranteed severe weather setup in my books.

Woke up early Sunday morning to see what we got and boom, a huge squall line moving through Michigan. I then realized I need to move on these storms and then hit the redeveloping ones after the line moves through. Left the GTA at 8am and headed for Goderich.

Squall line didn’t fall apart crossing Lake Huron and showed signs of rotation along it. I was heading west and almost at Seaforth at this point (picture above). When I got to Seaforth I realized just how fast this thing was moving and had to turn around and try and stay ahead of it:

Storms became more surface-based as they encountered a very warm and humid airmass over land. The portion of the squall line I was on became tornado-warned north of Dublin:

It is hard to say and under investigation, but there is the possibility I may have witnessed a cone tornado buried in the rain just north of Dublin as the storm went tornado-warned:

Managed to get a few decent shots briefly before continuing east:

Headed east as this line was barrelling down on me. The storm wasn’t too photogenic and had A LOT of precipitation in it, so knew once I get rained on I am basically done. The core eventually overtook me near St. Agatha:

After the storm overtook me and began moving towards the GTA, I started heading southwest towards Tilbury as the second round of storms began. I got distracted near Woodstock as I encountered tornado damage:

Went back on the 401 and had an hour and a half drive to get to Tilbury on the now nicely developing storms. The storms coming out of Michigan moved over Windsor and then moved east towards Tilbury, where they started merging. I only had one shot at visibility southeast of them before they moved off to Lake Erie:

Southeast of Tilbury, ON

Got greeted with some nice coloured structure:

Southeast of Tilbury, ON

I was able to capture this shot below that made the whole day worth it and the long drive back home worth it as well:

Southeast of Tilbury, ON

Below is the full chase video:

Had a fun chase from 8am to about 3pm. A lot of driving back and forth and some “interesting” moments in that squall line haha. Made the right call and moved on the squall early as I knew these were going to be the storms of the day. Persistence paid off in SW Ontario later too. I almost didn’t go after them out of laziness, but I am glad I went for it!



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