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Severe thunderstorm risk in the Prairies; watches and warnings in effect

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Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, May 24, 2014, 4:08 - That record-breaking heat across the Prairie provinces has a sting in the tail, courtesy of a wide-ranging cold front from a passing low pressure system.

"It will act as a trigger for potentially severe thunderstorms in eastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba this afternoon and evening, respectively," Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm said Saturday morning. "Strong winds, heavy downpours and hail is possible."

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for parts of southeastern Saskatchewan Saturday afternoon, warning for the potential of heavy downpours, hail and gusty winds. 

"Most of these storms will develop and dissipate quickly," added EC in a weather statement.

Residents in southern Manitoba, meanwhile, were being told to take immediate shelter as a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect Saturday evening. 

"A strong thunderstorm north of Ste Rose du lac is tracking northeast at 30 km/h," wrote the agency in a statement issued at 6:30 p.m. CDT. "This storm has the potential to produce nickel size hail and wind gusts to 100 km/h."

VIEWER VIDEO: Calm before the storm

The thunderstorm potential will ease early Saturday evening for the region.

Southern Alberta also has a risk of thunderstorms, although any that do spark up are not expected to be severe.

Prior to the cold front, the warm temperatures were widespread all across the Prairies on Friday.

"Those were a result of warm air being funneled in from the continental United States, and similar conditions are expected today," Soderholm says.

Friday's heat broke records dating back to the 1990s and 1970s in some communities.

A return to more seasonal temperatures is forecast for the region by Monday, with showers pushing into southern Saskatchewan.


WHAT'S THE WORST KIND OF RAIN? Not every downpour is the same. Watch the video below for what to look out for.


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