Deadly Lac Seul, ON F2 Tornado of July 9, 2009

Red Lake - Ear Falls

This tornado hit at about 8:35 pm, with a path that was 22.9 km long and 100m wide. It levelled swaths of forest and tore through Fisherman’s Cove Resort on Lac Seul with tragic results.

At Fishermen’s Cove, boats were overturned, docks were thrown from the lake and two cabins were swept away. Three men, visitors from Oklahoma, were killed, and five more were injured. When rescuers arrived at the camp after the storm, survivors were found out in the lake, having been tossed there by the winds.

Several witnesses captured photos and videos of the tornado, a bowled multiple vortex that became a fat and wide stovepipe as it tore through the camp. This was the second of four tornadoes to touch down in Northwestern Ontario on July 9.

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 7:00 pm CDT, which shows a trowal and an occluding low pressure into Manitoba. This trowal became the focus for intense thunderstorms in northwestern Ontario in the evening hours of July 9th, which ultimately led to an outbreak of F2 tornadoes.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 00Z on July 10, 2009 showing mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) contours, surface observations, fronts and pressure centres (WPC, 2017)

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (2018), an F2 tornado touched down at 8:35 pm near Lac Seul, ON. The tornado travelled for 22.9 km and had a maximum width of 100 metres. The tornado caused 3 fatalities and 5 injuries, but no property damage.


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 00Z Fri Jul 10 2009. Retrieved from:

Environment and Climate Change Canada Data. (2018). Canadian National Tornado Database: Verified Events (1980-2009) – Public. Retrieved from: