Mitchell, ON F2 Tornado of May 22, 2004

Huron - Perth

The tornado initially touched down west of Mitchell, killing two cows in a barn that was destroyed. It then passed through the south side of town, and initial reports indicated that 30 to 40 houses had been damaged, with bedding and other household items scattered through area fields. Indeed, a few dozen homes and properties did receive minor to moderate damage, with trees snapped throughout town and debris sent shattering windows and piercing roofs.

In a Mitchell subdivision, one house, a bungalow, sustained extensive F2 damage when its entire roof was removed, and a nearby truck was thrown over ten metres. The tornado then struck a few farms east of town, including a large dairy operation, where barns and machine sheds were destroyed. After travelling for 5 kilometres and with a width of just 20 metres, the tornado lifted, having inflicted millions of dollars in damage.

This was one of four tornadoes that touched down during this small tornado outbreak in Southern Ontario. The others were a high-end F2 tornado at Gads Hill, an F1 at Winthrop, and an F0 at Belton.

Figure 1 depicts the surface observations at 5:00 pm EDT, which shows a stationary front across southern Ontario. This front became the focus for intense thunderstorms across southern Ontario, which ultimately resulted in two F2 tornadoes, one F1 tornado and one F0 tornado.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 21Z on May 22, 2004 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 6:30 pm in Mitchell, ON. The tornado travelled for 5 km and had a maximum width of 20 metres. The tornado caused no fatalities or injuries and the property damage was not documented by ECCC.


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 21Z Sat May 22 2004. Retrieved from:

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