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Last Monday, several regions of Quebec were affected by violent temperatures. In fact, the presence of heat, humidity, and the passage of a front together formed ideal conditions for the formation of thunderstorms. Environment Canada reported that these weather conditions would have led to the formation of tornadoes. 


The affected areas

First, in the Eastern Townships, the municipality of Saint-Mathias-de-Bonneterre was heavily hit by the tornado and thunderstorms, and the damage is quite significant. In fact, several houses were severely damaged, several trees were uprooted and various playgrounds were destroyed. After analyzing the damage, meteorologists rated the strength of the tornado at EF-0.  In addition, Sherbrooke is also among the tornado victims, as this region was affected by several floods. The city of Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac in the Mauricie region was also affected by a tornado, but it did not cause any serious damage. 


But, what is a tornado?

A tornado first forms as a very violent thunderstorm, a supracellular storm. Other factors must be present to have such a phenomenon. First of all, the warm air has to rise towards the thunderstorm area to create an updraft. This allows the tornado to change direction and gain speed and retain moisture. Thus, a vortex (rotating air) forms in the middle of the storm, giving the tornado a funnel shape. Then, when cool, dry air comes into contact with the vortex, it creates a downdraft and causes the winds to rotate faster. Wind speeds can reach 180 km/h to 400 km/h. In addition, the intensity of a tornado is measured using the Fujita Scale, which ranges from EF-0 (light damage) to EF-5 (extreme damage).


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