Severe thunderstorm watches, warnings issued for northeastern Ontario

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for several communities in the northeast, including Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins. (File)

Much of northeastern Ontario is under a severe thunderstorm warning or watch, Environment Canada said Monday.

Areas under a thunderstorm warning include Sault Ste. Marie, St. Joseph's Island, Lake Superior, Elliot Lake, Ranger Lake, Chapleau, Blind River, Thessalon, Espanola, Killarney, Searchmont, Montreal River Harbour and Batchawana Bay.

Under a thunderstorm warning are areas near Greater Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins.

"At 11:05 a.m. EDT, Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a cluster of severe thunderstorms capable of producing strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain," the weather forecaster said in a news release.

"This cluster of severe thunderstorms is located from 20 kilometres southeast of Pukaskwa to 15 kilometres west of Chapleau to 9 kilometres south of Goulais River Provincial Park to 50 kilometres west of Pancake Bay Provincial Park, moving east at 40 km/h."

The storm is capable of producing 90 km/h wind gusts and nickel size hail.

"Take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches," the release said. "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. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!"

Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings are issued when imminent or occurring thunderstorms are likely to produce or are producing one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

To report severe weather, send an email to ONstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ONStorm.