Woodlawn, ON F1 Tornado of July 23, 1996

City of Ottawa

Half of the roof was torn off of the Torbolton Public School’s gymnasium as this probable tornado touched down between 3:00 and 3:30 pm. Roofs were torn off of barns, one of which collapsed, and trees were snapped and uprooted. Witnesses described observing the tornado which had the appearance of a plume of swirling smoke. Damage was estimated at $120,000.

Figure 1 depicts a surface map at 2:00 pm EDT, which depicts a strong low pressure system near James Bay with a cold front extending across southern Ontario. Storms developed in eastern Ontario along said cold front, which led to intense thunderstorms around the Ottawa region.

Figure 1. Surface analysis at 18Z on July 23, 1996 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 3:30 pm EDT near Woodlawn, ON. The path and width of the tornado was not documented by ECCC. The tornado caused no fatalities or injuries, but caused $120 thousand dollars in property damage.


NWS Weather Prediction Center Surface Analysis Archive. (2017). Surface analysis 18Z Tue Jul 23 1996. Retrieved from: https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/archives/web_pages/sfc/sfc_archive.php

Environment and Climate Change Canada Data. (2018). Canadian National Tornado Database: Verified Events (1980-2009) – Public. Retrieved from: http://donnees.ec.gc.ca/data/weather/products/canadian-national-tornado-database-verified-events-1980-2009-public/