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Risk of severe storms with hail, heavy rain threatens the Prairies

Sunday, July 12th 2020, 9:45 pm - Funnel clouds are possible in northern regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta on Monday afternoon while southern Manitoba will see the potential for one or two tornadoes.

The Prairies will see a stormy start to the week with heavy rain in northern areas of Alberta and the chance of severe thunderstorms in southern Manitoba and much of Saskatchewan. The unsettled conditions will create the potential for funnel clouds in northern regions of Alberta and Saskatchewan while southern Manitoba could see one or two tornadoes. Details and timing, below.


WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Trough brings widespread rain to northern areas of Alberta
  • Potential for severe thunderstorms in southern Manitoba, tornado risk
  • Keep an eye on weather ALERTS in your area

SUNDAY EVENING: SEVERE STORM POTENTIAL, UNSETTLED CONDITIONS

An upper-level trough with associated surface low-pressure system are going to bring unsettled, possibly stormy, conditions on Sunday evening.

As it tracks east of the Rockies, it will bring widespread, heavy rainfall across the northern areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. A high pressure system situated over Hudson Bay will slow down its trek, thus increasing its totals through Monday.

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For the southern areas of the Prairies, the risk for severe thunderstorms will pick up again in central Alberta and southern Saskatchwan. Storms may fire up in Alberta and Saskatchewan during the evening hours. There is the potential for the storms to track into western Manitoba during the overnight hours. The main hazards include large hail, heavy rain and strong wind gusts.

Images and videos showing hail blanketing parts of southern Alberta appeared on social media on Sunday afternoon.

The Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton explains that this significant amount of hail was produced because of high instability paired with a low freezing level and changing wind speeds with height.

“This allowed for healthy thunderstorm updrafts to produce copious amounts of hail,” Hamilton added.

MONDAY: WIDESPREAD RAIN IN NORTH, SEVERE RISKS SHIFT EAST

The widespread rainfall will continue Monday, further dampening an already saturated northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Some areas are in extreme northern Alberta are expected to see 50-75 mm of rain, while 10-20 mm is on tap for northern Saskatchewan.

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Manitoba, which has seen its fair share of heavy rainfall lately, is also expected to receive a soaking on Monday. Amounts could total 30 mm in southern areas, with locally higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Showers will track through southern Manitoba during the morning and early afternoon. Storms will quickly initiate along the Manitoba-North Dakota border and will feature updrafts that could generate a tornado or two.

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Around 5:00 p.m. a cluster of thunderstorms with damaging wind gusts and hail as big as 3 or 4 cm will track through northwestern Ontario late into the evening and through the pre-dawn hours.

There is the potential for an isolated storm to fire up in Saskatchewan on Monday afternoon or evening depending on the amount of residual energy from the cold front tracking eastward.

There is also the slight risk of funnel clouds in northern regions of Saskatchewan and Alberta on Monday afternoon. These funnel clouds will have the potential to briefly touchdown and could become a landspout tornado.

CALGARY HAILSTORM DECLARED THE WORST IN CANADIAN HISTORY, SEE WHY

Check back for updates as the forecast evolves.

Thumbnail courtesy: Jason/ @bluejase via Twitter

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