Severe thunderstorm watch ended for Barrie and central Ontario

A severe thunderstorm watch has ended for Barrie and parts of central Ontario.

Environment and Climate Change Canada initially issued a tornado warning just before 2:30 p.m., noting that a severe thunderstorm passing through the region was could possible produce a twister.

Several minutes later, it was downgraded to a severe thunderstorm warning capable of producing very strong wind gusts of up to 90km/h, with an update at 3:26 p.m. saying there are risks of ping pong ball size hail and heavy rain.

At 4:23 p.m., the warning was downgraded to a watch, stating dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing damaging wind gusts, damaging hail and heavy rain are still a possibility.

Peterborough County and Lakefield were under a severe thunderstorm warning, and at 4:55 p.m. as the national weather service also alerted the warning stretches as far as Belleville, but shortly after at 5:03 p.m. Peterborough and Lakefield were downgraded to a watch.

All watches have now ended for Barrie, Peterborough, Belleville and surrounding areas.

“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles,” the national weather service said.

The warning forced the evacuation of the entertainment area at the Boots and Hearts Music Festival at the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ont., but the festival has stated they are preparing to re-open and continue with the music acts.

A severe thunderstorm watch has also been dropped for Dunnville-Caledonia-Haldimand, all of the Niagara Region and Simcoe-Delhi-Norfolk.

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