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.

 

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

Just Posted

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital home to new cancer diagnostic suite

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted in murder of Saanich couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

Supreme Court Judge rules medicinal marijuana company must vacate farm in Central Saanich

Evergreen Medicinal Supply Inc must vacate no later than Aug. 31, 2019

Studies for E&N corridor still on track after BC Transit investments

Recent investment in bus fleet expansion doesn’t slow studies into alternative transportation routes

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Surrey court clerk files human rights complaint related to concussion

Deborah A. Ryane claims her employer discriminated against her on basis of mental disability

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Most Read