Monday, July 13th 2020, 2:22 pm - Severe thunderstorms dumped small hail 'several inches deep' on Innisfail Sunday and spawned a landspout tornado near Nanton.
Sunday was quite stormy in Alberta, with severe thunderstorms dropping accumulating hail in Innisfail and dropping a weak tornado near Nanton.
Environment Canada confirmed the twister occurred between 1:10 and 1:20 p.m. MDT, near Nanton, after receiving multiple reports and visuals. A dust cloud was seen at the base of the funnel, but there there were no reports of damage. Therefore, the weather agency has given it a preliminary rating of EF-0.
It was considered a landspout tornado generated by weak rotation under rapidly growing clouds or weak thunderstorms.
"Landspout tornadoes do not usually cause significant damage but can still be dangerous as they can topple trees, damage roofs, or toss debris a short distance," Environment Canada said in the summary.
It also received reports of small funnel clouds in southern-central Alberta. In addition to the tornado, storms dropped small hail in numerous locations, particularly in Innisfail, where the accumulations were considered "several inches deep" by Environment Canada.
The reasons for the significant amount of hail were high instability paired with a low freezing level and changing wind speeds with height, according to The Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton.
“This allowed for healthy thunderstorm updrafts to produce copious amounts of hail,” Hamilton added.
The agency received reports of hail with diameters as big as 30 mm in Spruce View, 26 mm in Innisfail and 24 mm in Caroline, to name just a few.
HAIL PILES UP, CONFIRMED TORNADO
Social media exploded Sunday with images and pictures of the accumulating hail and the landspout tornado near Nanton. Below is a selection of what is currently making the rounds online.
Hail piles up in Innisfail, Alta. Photo: Nicole Scarlett.