Tornado warning blankets London and region – The London Free Press

Rain, hail, even the threat of a tornado.

London and area residents were kept on their toes Thursday as the region faced the gamut of weather warnings.

The federal weather agency warned of mammoth thunderstorms across Southwestern Ontario on Thursday afternoon and evening, blanketing the region with thunderstorm warnings.

A deluge of rain arrived in London and residents north of the city were treated to golf ball-sized hail in the early evening.

Just as the skies seemed to clear, Environment Canada announced a tornado warning across London, and portions of Middlesex and Oxford counties as a storm moved toward Mount Elgin, north of Tillsonburg.

Residents were urged to leave cars, trailers or tents and take cover at the first sign of threatening weather, including funnel clouds, swirling or flying debris, or a roaring sound.

“This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation,” Environment Canada said in a statement. “Move to a strong building if you can. As a last resort, lie in a low spot and protect your head from flying debris.”

The warning was short-lived in London, where it was ended within a half-hour, but the tornado threat extended longer in Woodstock and Oxford County.