REGINA — Life in Saskatchewan in 2022 might not have been like Kansas in The Wizard of Oz, but it was close.
Environment Canada is reporting that as of the end of the tornado season on Oct. 4, Saskatchewan recorded an official tornado count of 25.
That marks the highest number of tornadoes since 2012. Fortunately, they didn’t damage major population centres, but they were definitely a sight to see in a number of rural locations in the province.
The numbers for 2022 were tracked by Environment Canada and by Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project.
Of the 25 twisters, the first touched down in May, followed by 11 in June, 11 in July and two in August.
The first tornado of 2022 was an EF-0 rated storm in the Keeler/Caron area on May 17. The vast majority of tornadoes were rated EF-0, with four rated EF-1 and four rated EF-2.
The four strongest tornadoes were the EF-2 events in Manitou Beach on June 29 at 4:55 p.m.; Paynton on July 8 at 4:07 p.m. and Blaine Lake the same day at 6:04 p.m.; and Erinferry on Aug. 4 at 6:53 p.m.
An EF-2 tornado is defined as one causing significant damage with wind gusts of 178–217 km/h. An EF-1 normally causes moderate damage, while an EF-0 causes minor damage. The highest rating on the scale is EF-5 which is gusts in excess of 322 km/h.
Most of the tornadoes touched down either in central Saskatchewan between Saskatoon and Regina, or in northwest and north central Saskatchewan. The most northern event was an EF-0 waterspout in the Uranium City area on July 26 at 5:30 p.m., which was also the lone waterspout tornado recorded in 2022 in the province.