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Experts warn Canadians to prepare for tornadoes

This image taken from footage captured by KWTV/News 9 via CNN, shows a tornado moving through Oklahoma on Saturday May 24, 2008.

Story: Experts warn Canadians to prepare for tornadoes - For much of this year, Canadians have looked on as tornado after tornado has hit the U.S. But now, weather experts say residents here may need to prepare for twisters as well. South of the border, the U.S. already appears to be on track to set an unwanted record. If current trends hold, an unprecedented number of tornados will have touched down in the country - 1,300 tornadoes this year alone and that's before the U.S. has even reached its peak season for twisters. The latest twister hit Friday in Minnesota, making its way through the Midwest. No deaths or injuries were reported. But the twister cut a nearly-kilometre-wide path of destruction in the northwestern part of the state, destroying homes, toppling trees, and cutting power to thousands of residents. While American residents appear to be getting the worst of this season's twister season, weather experts say Canadians may not necessarily escape unscathed. Tornadoes have already hit Manitoba five times this year. One barely swept past a small community near Winnipeg. "(The region is) tapping into the high humidity that fuels these storms, and the particular jet stream and wind pattern that causes the tornadoes." Part of the problem in the U.S. may have to do with what's happening in Canada. Experts say UNUSUAL cold fronts from north of the U.S. border are flowing southwards. There they disrupt masses of moist, warm air - and that sends clouds swirling and tornadoes on their furious paths.

Drivers in northwestern Ontario are being asked to stay off the roads following a near-record rainfall that caused flooding. The Ministry of Transportation issued the travel advisory Friday, asking people to delay or cancel their travel plans over the next couple of days after the area was hit with up to 80 millimetres of rain in a span of a few hours. The same storm system dumped heavy rain on Manitoba and spawned tornadoes in Minnesota. Several townships in the Thunder Bay area as well as the Fort William First Nation declared a state of emergency, and some residents of the village of Hymers, near Thunder Bay, were moved from their homes as a precaution. At least one major highway has been closed because of a washout, and several secondary roads have been damaged. Residents in Laird Township east of Sault Ste. Marie spent Saturday assessing the damage after being hit by what they believe was a tornado on Friday. Witnesses said the twister cut a path through a forest and the storm that accompanied it brought near golf ball-sized hail that sounded like gunfire when it hit cars and homes.

Rainy, windy weather
that knocked down power lines and led to an unusual rescue attempt was expected to set a RECORD FOR RAINFALL Friday in Winnipeg. About 35 mm of rain fell in Winnipeg between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. - that amount matched the previous record for June 6, set back in 1982. A rainfall warning was later issued for Winnipeg with another 15 mm of rain anticipated, bringing the expected total for the day to about 50 mm. The rain caused the deaths of three peregrine falcon chicks believed to have drowned on the Radisson Hotel's 13th-storey ledge. An elite fire department team was dispatched to try to save the endangered falcons. "Unfortunately, the birds had drowned."
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