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Tornado warnings briefly issued north of Toronto amid thunderstorm watches in Ontario

Tornado warnings were briefly issued for a number of areas north of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Wednesday as a band of severe thunderstorms moved east through Ontario.

“Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm that is possibly producing a tornado,” Environment Canada said around 2 p.m. “Damaging winds, large hail and locally intense rainfall are also possible.”

The agency said a tornado could bring with it winds of 120 km/h and nickel-sized hail.

The warnings, which covered a number of areas including Orillia and Muskoka, were cancelled within about half an hour. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, nor confirmation that a tornado touched down.

Elsewhere, a severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for Toronto and other parts of the province ahead of a cold front moving through the province, Environment Canada said.

The watch is in effect across the GTA as well as areas further north, including Barrie and cottage country.

“Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain,” the national weather agency said in its advisory.

Environment Canada warned that wind gusts of up to 100 km/h and “Toonie-sized hail” are possible, along with a risk of a tornado.

“Thunderstorms will develop along a cold front that will move through the province this afternoon and evening. The main threat will be strong winds and hail. However, a tornado will also be possible,” the national weather agency noted.

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