Inwood, ON F1 Tornado of June 30, 1998

Sarnia - Lambton

This tornado struck a mobile home, shifting it several meters off of its footings. Its windows were smashed and roof torn off with debris thrown for more than 1 km; two children were inside the trailer at the time but emerged unscathed. At nearby properties, trees were snapped and shorn off at the tops, and a small barn and a shed were destroyed.

According to Ethan Stender who lived on Shiloh Lane, just outside of Inwood, “I was 6 years old when the tornado hit, and can remember how crazy the weather was that day. I specifically remember seeing the tornado touch down from our sun room, and thinking it was smoke. I got really worried that someones house was on fire. My mom told me that it wasn’t smoke, that it was a tornado. I was a huge fan of the movie Twister at the time (still am – classic movie) so instead of getting scared, I got super excited that I was seeing a real live tornado. I remember watching it the whole time and being disappointed that it didn’t last very long. In retrospect, we probably should have taken cover.”

This was one of two tornadoes to touch down in Southern Ontario on June 30; the other was an F1 at Guelph.

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 11:00 am EDT, which depicts an occluding low pressure in Quebec with a cold front extending into the northeast United States. This tornado was likely the result of lake-breeze interaction from Lake Huron. As the cold front swept through southern Ontario, northwesterly winds were blowing over the open (cooler) waters of Lake Huron and would have triggered thunderstorms, which ultimately led to this F1 tornado on June 30th.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 15Z 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 1:20 pm EDT near Inwood, ON. The tornado travelled for 100 metres with a maximum width of 50 metres. The tornado caused no fatalities, injuries or property damage.


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 15Z Tue Jun 30 1998. Retrieved from:

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