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The northernmost parts of Ontario – primarily north of 50°N – have a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with long, severely cold winters and short, cool to warm summers with dramatic temperature changes possible in all seasons. London, situated in Southern (Southwestern) Ontario, has the most lightning strikes per year in Canada, averaging 34 days of thunderstorm activity per year.
With no major mountain ranges blocking sinking Arctic air masses, temperatures of −40 °C (−40 °F) are not uncommon; snowfall remains on the ground for sometimes over half the year. In a typical year, Ontario averages 11 confirmed tornado touchdowns.
These are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km (0.6 mi) of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border.
The next climatic region is Central and Eastern Ontario which has a moderate humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb).
The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been largely replaced by agriculture, industrial and urban development.The highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres (2,274 ft) above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario.In the south, elevations of over 500 m (1,640 ft) are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County.However, over the last 4 years, it has had upwards of 20 tornado touchdowns per year, with the highest frequency occurring in the Windsor-Essex – Chatham Kent area, though few are very destructive (the majority between F0 to F2 on the Fujita scale). Tropical depression remnants occasionally bring heavy rains and winds in the south, but are rarely deadly.A notable exception was Hurricane Hazel which struck Southern Ontario centred on Toronto, in October 1954.