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

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

West Shore RCMP spend four hours searching for roving hikers

RCMP say stay put once you’ve called for help and listen to instructions

No last minute reprieve for Sooke’s Tin Grotto

Sooke council sticks to its guns regarding “the eyesore” on Otter Point Road

Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

WestShore Town Centre adds sensory-sensitive approach to photos with Santa

Limited reservations available on Dec. 15 and 22 from 10 to 11 a.m.

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Port Alberni rallies for mill workers

Fundraisers helping ease the sting of five months without work

Island student lobbies school board for dress code consistency

Jaylene Kuo contacted school trustees after seeing dress guidelines at brother’s school

Most Read