Merlin, ON F1 Tornado of August 9, 2000

Windsor - Essex - Chatham-Kent

This tornado touched down at 5:35 pm and was on the ground for several kilometres, passing through rural areas near Merlin. Along its path, trees were snapped, uprooted and shorn off at the tops. Witnesses reported seeing several power flashes as the tornado tore down power poles and transformers. A number of farms were hit and outbuildings damaged; at one, a barn and a cinder block building were totally destroyed.

Two farm houses suffered extensive damage with sections of roof torn off, as well as windows smashed and siding pockmarked from and pierced with flying debris. At one of the houses, debris was whipped from the back of the house to the front, curtains were sucked out of shattered windows and the kitchen wallpaper was reportedly torn from the walls. A woman in that house was celebrating her birthday with her family; they managed to make it to the safety of the basement just as the house was battered and torn apart above them.

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 2:00 pm EDT, which shows a low pressure setting up on Michigan’s ‘thumb’ with a cold front extending south into Michigan. This front became the focus for intense thunderstorms in the afternoon hours of August 9th, which ultimately led to this F1 tornado.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 18Z on August 9, 2000 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 5:35 pm EDT near Merlin, ON. The path and 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 18Z Wed Aug 9 2000. Retrieved from:

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