Tornado/Hail @ Goose Lake (Ontario, Canada) on 4th July 2003

Christian Matthys

Hi fellow chasers on the other side of the ocean!

My name is (as you can see) Christian Matthys. I come from Switzerland and am a passionate stormchaser since a couple of years. I am a member of TorDACH (, a European network of scientists and laymen, who collects data mainly from tornado, waterspouts and downburst (or any other severe weather) events in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I am also an active member of Skywarn Switzerland (

I'm interested in any severe weather around the world (who is not in here :) ), mainly of course in the ones that occur in Switzerland and surrounding area. I like to observe, document and analyse severe local storms. Last year we had an F1 Tornado near Zurich (where I live). A Tornado in Switzerland is a rare event, though the occurence of tornadoes here is generally underestimated. Normally we get a few tornado and waterspout reports during a year (up to about 5 or even a bit more), but the estimated number of unreported cases are high because there are so many hills, mountains and valleys here which make it difficult to chase and observe. The chaser community is still small but growing every year. We only have one doppler radar in switzerland ( and weather data is not always fully available for public. Our short term weather warning systems are still in its infancy and the tools and sources for nowcasting are limited (at least for public). But we make progresses from year to year and it seems that the different public and private weather services more and more are cooperating with each other and share data to serve the public with exact forecasting and warning information. That's a good sign.

Next week, from 16th-17th Feb., there will be held the first extreme weather symposium of Europe, in Hamburg(Germany):
I'm looking very forward to it.

Now, I have a question for you:
Two weeks ago I saw an amateur movie of a nice hailstorm, lashing big hailstones in a lake.. the video was so intense and incredible that I began to search for the case.. I found out that it was on the day of the 4th of July 2003 at Goose Lake, Ontario, Canada. Back then a tornadic supercell storm was travelling from south of Nechigona to Mamakwash Falls and produced damaging winds and monster hailballs. A photo of the hailstones falling into the lake made me belief that this was from the video footage I saw. Unfortunately I couldn't find a video online. The only two websites I found about this case are these:

Now my question: Does someone of you have more information about this event and/or video footage available on net? Was there only tornado damage or also from downbursts?

Thank you in advance to answer to my post..

Christian from Switzerland
I'm not exactly sure where one would go about finding information from Canadian storms. I found pretty much what you found through a google search. I don't have a subscription to BAMS or anything so I can't really check published articles though. You could try contacting some people from Canada, I'm not sure if anyone here on the board is though. I'll let you know if I find anything though.

Interesting thought...did anyone ever notice that something bad severe-weather-wise always seems to happen on the 4th of July. I can recall several derechos in addition to this tornado and old downburst events (like the N WI ones of 1977...I think Fujita looked at those).

Hi Alex

Thank you for your reply.. The few Canadian stormchaser homepages I found were outdated and the OMNR aerial survey photographs which are mentioned in the second link do not seem to be online accessible..
Hopefully some Canadian stormchaser sooner or later will read this post and tell us more about the event.

As far as I know, any chaser I know of was not on the event. That event took place in a remote area in northwestern Ontario, so I highly doubt any chasers were on it.

I am unaware of any movies about this event, however I did find a site with a bunch of photos of the tornado's path