A rare tornado touched down in a Seattle suburb on Tuesday, damaging several homes and toppling trees, authorities said. (Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via AP)

A rare tornado touched down in a Seattle suburb on Tuesday, damaging several homes and toppling trees, authorities said. (Larry Steagall/Kitsap Sun via AP)

Meteorologist weighs in on chances of a tornado hitting Vancouver Island

Environment Canada logs all tornadoes confirmed in Canada

With a tornado touching down outside Seattle Tuesday, the close proximity has Island residents wondering about the chances of one hitting Vancouver Island.

RELATED: VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

According to the Government of Canada’s Tornado Database for 1980 to 2009, B.C. had 15 tornadoes during those 29 years. Environment Canada has logged two since in B.C., one confirmed outside Quesnel in 2016 and one “possible” near Mission on Sept. 16.

No tornadoes have ever been officially recorded on Vancouver Island.

“The terrain is so complex and inconsistent on Vancouver Island. It tends to destroy the systems needed to create a tornado,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist. “I don’t think it is impossible, but we may not see it in our lifetime.”

RELATED: Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

The Island and coastal B.C. do get water spouts, a rotating column of water and spray – that look similar to a tornado –formed when the atmosphere is unstable from cold air moving over warm water, said Lundquist.

“They can be as strong as a very weak tornado, with much more minor damage.”

Tornadoes prefer flatter landscape. In B.C., the two hot spots are the Central Interior and Peace Country, according to Lundquist, but nothing compared to the Prairies and southern Ontario which see the majority of tornadoes in Canada.

In the same 29 year period from 1980 to 2009, Alberta had 456, Saskatchewan 529, Manitoba 283 and Ontario 378.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Canadian National Tornado Database: Verified Events (1980-2009). (Government of Canada)

Canadian National Tornado Database: Verified Events (1980-2009). (Government of Canada)

Just Posted

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has reopened with 45 shelter spots for people experiencing homelessness in Victoria. (Courtesy of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre)
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre shelter in Victoria reopens with spots for 45 people

Arena is an interim step until long-term housing is found

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

(Black Press Media file photo)
Suspect arrested after items stolen from parked vehicles in Saanich

Saanich police located the suspect thanks to a very detailed witness description

Civil works crews have begun to install roads and other infrastructure to service the Nigel Valley redevelopment project that will bring nearly 800 new housing units to Saanich over the next several years. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Prep work begins on massive Nigel Valley development in Saanich

Construction of first two developments expected to begin fall 2021, B.C. Housing says

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

Most Read