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)

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Most Read