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The June 22, 2007 Elie, Man. tornado remains the strongest recorded one in Canadian history. // Photo from Justin J. Hobson

The June 22, 2007 Elie tornado. // Photo from Justin Hobson

An alumnus’ eyewitness account of strongest recorded tornado in Canadian history

The following is a first-person account of the Elie tornado from U of M alumnus Justin J. Hobson:

In May 2007, I was hired to work at the Environment Canada weather office as part of the University of Manitoba Bachelor of Science Co-Op program. On June 22, 2007 conditions were favorable for severe thunderstorm development over portions of southern Manitoba. I was excited to go storm chasing after work that day because weather models had hinted at the potential for severe thunderstorms several days in advance.

After leaving work I noticed explosive thunderstorm development northwest of Winnipeg. I arrived at my home in Oak Bluff and grabbed my camera and baseball cap. I then went to my computer to wait for the next radar scan to see if the thunderstorm cell was strengthening; it was, big time.

Upon reaching that highway I witnessed a wall cloud; the precursor to tornado development. I then parked on a gravel road one mile south of Elie, placed my camcorder on the roof of my vehicle, hit record and watched.

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Partners in the North

Over the ten-year history of the Riddell Faculty, numerous working relationships with organizations, communities, and institutions in Canada’s North have been developed. Two important partnerships, with the University College of the North (UCN) and the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy (NMMA), seek to provide greater access to training and educational opportunities for northern Manitobans.

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