Guelph, ON F1 Tornado of June 30, 1998

Waterloo - Wellington

Touching down at 6:30 am and travelling for 1km, the tornado tore a path through a residential neighbourhood in the southern end of the city. It first touched down in University Village Park where it caused minor tree damage, then struck homes on Edinburgh Road. There, three houses sustained extensive damage, one of which had its entire roof torn off. Contents from its second storey were sucked out and scattered. The neighbouring house had about half of its roof removed, and the house next to it had its chimney toppled. Damage to these Edinburgh Road homes was at near-F2 intensity.

Moving on, the tornado weakened as it passed along Gryphon Place and Youngman Drive, causing only minor F0 damage along those streets. However, it reintensified as it moved through Rickson Park, and then blasted onto Oak Street, again at the upper echelon of F1 intensity. At one home in particular, a solidly built brick house, the majority of the roof was torn off and scattered. Inside the home, a 7-year-old boy had left his bed to run to his parents’ room, seconds before debris from the roof came crashing down onto the bed. Debris was littered throughout the area and a metal picnic table was blown away, unable to be found. The tornado weakened and then dissipated as it moved on down the street.

This was one of two tornadoes to touch down in Southern Ontario on June 30; the other was an F1 at Inwood. Also of note, it struck within 1km of another more damaging tornado that would occur two years later, on July 17, 2000. That one, an F2, tore through the Pine Ridge Subdivision and damaged dozens of homes.

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 2:00 am EDT, which depicts an occluding low pressure in Quebec with a stationary front extending across southern Ontario. Thunderstorms developed on the occluding front, which was sitting over the GTA and ultimately led to this F1 tornado in Guelph.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 06Z on June 30, 1998 showing mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) contours, surface observations, fronts and pressure centres (WPC, 2017)

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (2018), an F1 tornado touched down at 6:00 am EDT in Guelph, ON. The tornado travelled for 1 km. The width of the tornado was not documented by ECCC The tornado caused no fatalities, injuries or property damage.


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 06Z Tue Jun 30 1998. Retrieved from:

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