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Violent prairie storms spawn at least two tornadoes

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Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Monday, July 15, 2013, 6:42 -

Punishing storms rolled through parts of the Prairies over the weekend, bringing a severe mix of downpours, large hail, strong winds and at least two reported tornadoes.

Environment Canada issued tornado watches for southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba Saturday morning, when the line of thunderstorms rolled through.

"It was a huge line that went through," Weather Network meteorologist Monica Vaswani said. "Definitely there was rotation in [some of] those cells."

In Manitoba, the storms left evidence of a possible tornado in the community of Pipestone.

Residents claim the community looks like a war zone. It was still recovering from intense flooding in late June before the storm hit. 

Roofs were partially torn off buildings, power lines were knocked down, part of the town's arena collapsed and camper trailers and mobile homes were overturned, according to Environment Canada.

In that storm's path was golf-ball and nickel sized hail, as well as 42 mm of rain, reported in the community of Reston.

Around 1,000 people were left without power at the height of the storm. 

Environment Canada said it is highly likely a tornado touched down and is sending a team Monday to check the damage. 

In Saskatchewan, another possible tornado was reported in the community of Minton, while hail the size of quarters, grapefruit or quarters fell elsewhere.

The violent weather lasted well into the night. 

Although tornado warnings ended in the early evening, severe thunderstorm warnings and watches remained in effect until much later.

Now, meteorologists are keeping a close watch on the same area of Saskatchewan struck by Saturday's tornadoes. 

They're forecasting a high risk of severe thunderstorms all through eastern Saskatchewan on Monday, a band that could include the capital Regina.

"A low pressure centre will strengthen Monday afternoon with strong thunderstorms forming ahead of the cold front in central and southern Saskatchewan," noted Vaswani. "As the evening progresses you could see very strong super cell thunderstorms develop and that will bring large hail, intense downpours, powerful gusts and the possibility of isolated tornadoes." 

Monday's thunderstorm risk

Monday's thunderstorm risk

Keep an eye on the Weather Network as we follow those unfolding storms.

For our best severe weather videos, check out our online gallery.

You can find severe weather alerts here.

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