Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent

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Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm headed to the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions.

The agency says the storm is capable of producing very strong wind gusts, heavy rain and nickel size hail — toonie sized in some areas.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Windsor, Leamington, Essex County as well as Chatham-Kent and Rondeau Park.

“Daytime heating, combined with a moisture rich and energized atmosphere is contributing to the potent thunderstorms moving into southwestern Ontario Wednesday afternoon and through the evening,” says CTV Windsor meteorologist Gary Archibald. “Heavy downpours are likely (and flash flooding is a concern) – in addition to strong winds, hail, and frequent lightning. It’s just common sense to stay indoors under these potentially dangerous weather conditions.” 

Environment Canada says the storm is just south of Willowood and moving northeast at 60 km, while the storm near Chatham-Kent is new Bridgen, moving southeast at 35 km/h.

Locations impacted in each region include Willowood, Comet, Colchester Harrow, Oil Springs, Bridgen, Bentpath and Oil City.

Environment Canada says toonie size hail and 100 km/h wind gusts are possible in the Chatham-Kent region, a tornado may also be possible.

With the risk of heavy rain, Environment Canada reminds residents of the risk of flash floods and water pooling on roads.

“Large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year,” the agency says.

Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued when imminent or occurring thunderstorms are likely to produce either large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management recommends taking cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.