A violent severe thunderstorm swept across southern Quebec yesterday evening, causing considerable damage to property. Photos and videos posted online show telephone poles toppled, cars covered in branches, and R/Vs overturned in several municipalities.
Environment Canada has since confirmed that some of the damage was due to a tornado that formed as a result of the storm.
"A line of severe thunderstorms tracked across southern and central Quebec Thursday in the afternoon and early evening hours. Assessment of the damage indicates a category EF-1 tornado, with winds between 135 and 175 kilometres per hour, in the Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan area," a statement from the agency reads.
"Several recreational vehicles on a camping [ground] and buildings of surrounding farms experienced damages. The event occurred around 6:30 PM on July 11th."
"Several other regions also have reported uprooted trees, broken tree branches and hydro poles down. About 100,000 homes were left without power," the statement concludes.
Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan is a small municipality directly north of Montreal in the Lanaudiere region of Quebec. It is about an hour drive from downtown Montreal.
At the time of publication, there are still almost 1,000 Hydro Québec customers without power in Lanaudiere while hundreds go without electricity in the Laurentides and Laval.
An EF-1 tornado is considered "weak" by the United States National Weather Service. But the extreme weather event is nonetheless striking in a province with relatively few tornadoes.
This is not the first time a tornado has touched down in Quebec this year, however. In June, another minor twister hopped through the Gatineau region, uprooting trees and shredding fences.
This is not the end of extreme weather in Quebec this week. The upcoming heat wave is expected to be the worst of the year so far.
Stay tuned for more weather news.