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Prairie storm risk shifts eastward for Friday, slight tornado risk

Thursday, July 16th 2020, 11:15 pm - Strong storms cut through central Alberta Thursday, prompting several hours of tornado watches, while Friday's most severe weather is expected in southern Manitoba.

Severe thunderstorms rolled through central Alberta for much of Friday, with damaging winds, hail, and torrential downpours. Damage to Edmonton’s Rogers Place was reported from these storms, as well as damage elsewhere. There’s some trace of severe chance remaining for Friday, but most of the risk shifts to southern Manitoba to close out the week, with a small, but not non-existent, tornado threat. What to expect, below.


WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Some lingering storm threat for Alberta Friday, biggest risk shifts to Manitoba
  • Non-zero tornado threat in southern Manitoba Friday
  • Eastern Prairies remain warm, Alberta still in cooler pattern
  • Keep an eye on weather ALERTS in your area

FRIDAY: FOCUS OF SEVERE WEATHER THREAT MOVES INTO MANITOBA

Though some storm risk does linger somewhat through central Alberta on Friday, the biggest chance of severe weather shifts eastward as the boundary continues to track in that direction, combined with a stateside low moving north, putting southern Manitoba and extreme eastern Saskatchewan at risk.

Forecasters say there is a non-zero tornado risk for southern Manitoba, though most of that potential looks to stay south of the International Border. Any severe storms that do spark up will be marked by large hail, heavy rain and strong winds. However, not everyone in the risk zone will see a thunderstorm, as the risk is relatively scattered.

Alberta storm risk

Meanwhile, widespread rain will continue in northern Alberta while it moves into northern Saskatchewan and central Manitoba Friday morning and afternoon, respectively. Through Friday, parts of northern Alberta are in line to receive 30-40 mm of rain, with 10-20 mm for northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Southern areas of Saskatchewan and Manitoba will continue to be quite warm, with daytime highs in the upper-20s, though with the humidity, will feel like the low- to mid-30s. Alberta, on the other hand, will see a cooler pattern persist, with temperatures in the 20s.

THURSDAY STORMS PROMPTED TORNADO WATCHES, DAMAGE TO ROGERS PLACE

Severe storms popped up in several parts of central Alberta for much of Thursday, with some prompting Environment Canada to issue tornado watches for southeast of Edmonton and, later, the Drumheller and Red Deer areas.

The storms that did pass over the region looked ominous, and featured torrential downpours and large hail, with some damage reported. In Edmonton, part of the Rogers Place roof appeared to collapse, with lots of water pouring into the building.

The arena's Twitter account confirmed the damage was storm related, with flooding in the Ford Hall terminus and leaks elsewhere in the building, and management was assessing the damage.

Rogers Place is home to the Edmonton Oilers, and the damage comes at a time when the city is making preparations for its role as an NHL hub city as the league plans the coming hockey season.

LOOK AHEAD: UNSETTLED, COOL PATTERN ON THE WEEKEND AND BEYOND

Widespread rain will persist in central, northern Alberta and Saskatchewan and central Manitoba into Saturday. Alberta's cool pattern continues to dominate, while also spreading east across the region, on the weekend and for much of next week. However, the stormy pattern will subside for a few days next week.

Check back as we continue to monitor the forecast.

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