The Barrie area, including Collingwood, Midland and Orillia, is under a severe thunderstorm watch.
Environment Canada issued the watch Thursday just before noon, saying weather conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and torrential rainfall.
According to the agency, the threat of severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and evening is associated with a cold front moving across southern Ontario. However, thunderstorms are also possible well in advance of the cold front.
The agency warns that strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles.
Environment Canada is also reminding residents that heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads, and that lightning is responsible for deaths and injuries to Canadians every year.
“Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!” the release reads.
According to the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, if threatening weather approaches, residents should take cover immediately.
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