Rough weather on the way Friday night

Area residents might want to brace for some rough weather Friday (Oct. 23) night.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for much of Durham Region and parts of York Region.

“Showers and thunderstorms ahead of a cold front are forecast to move eastward across the regions this evening. Wind gusts of 70 km/h, brief torrential downpours, and cloud-to-ground lightning will be associated with some of these storms,” it reads.

A tornado warning is in effect for Fenelon Falls, Balsam Lake Park and northern Kawartha Lakes.

“There is the potential for tornadoes late this afternoon or early this evening as severe thunderstorms develop over portions of the regions ahead of a strong cold front,” it reads.

“This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation.”

Thunderstorm and tornado warnings have been issued for parts of Simcoe County, including Barrie and Midland.

Residents are advised to take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.

“Go indoors to a room on the lowest floor, away from outside walls and windows, such as a basement, bathroom, stairwell or interior closet. Leave mobile homes, vehicles, tents, trailers and other temporary or free-standing shelter, and move to a strong building if you can,” it reads.

“As a last resort, lie in a low spot and protect your head from flying debris. Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year.”

A severe thunderstorm watch has been implemented in Newmarket, Georgina and northern York Region.

Wind gusts of 90 km/h are expected with frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, brief periods of poor visibility and ponding of water on roads in torrential downpours. Large hail is also a threat, the watch notes.

“Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Hail and locally heavy rain are also possible,” it reads.

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