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Prairies seeing widespread severe storm risk, hail and heavy rain possible

Friday, July 30th 2021, 7:23 pm - Alberta and Manitoba are seeing the potential for severe storms on Friday that could bring torrential rain, hail, and strong winds.

The week will end with hot temperatures and a widespread risk of severe thunderstorms on the Prairies. Many regions in Alberta and Saskatchewan are under heat warnings due to temperatures tipping into the mid 30s and air quality statements blanket eastern Manitoba due to the large number of active wildfires. See below for today’s risk of active weather and what you can expect for the long weekend.

FRIDAY: WIDESPREAD THUNDERSTORM RISK, SEVERE POTENTIAL FOR SOME

A boundary draped along the Rockies and southern foothills will allow for the risk of thunderstorms for portions of Alberta late this afternoon and evening.

Although moisture levels are a limiting factor, there will likely be enough thunderstorm energy to fuel any storms that initiate off of the higher terrain.

There is the potential for some storms to reach severe criteria along the foothills and other regions in the eastward direction towards Calgary. Large hail, locally heavy rain, and gusty winds are the primary threats.

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Saskatchewan will miss the risk of severe thunderstorms and will see calm, clear skies and hot temperatures on Friday.

Similar to Alberta, Manitoba will see the risk for severe thunderstorms due to a cold front tracking through the province and into northwestern Ontario.

Jessie Uppal, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, says there is a significant amount of smoke and haze within the lower levels of the atmosphere across the eastern Prairies, which sometimes hinders thunderstorm activity.

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However, the areas that do see storms pop up could experience hail, heavy rain, and powerful winds. Areas along the border between Manitoba and northwestern Ontario are seeing the highest risk of severe weather on Friday.

BEYOND: TOASTY CONDITIONS CONTINUE FOR MANY

Dr. Doug Gillham, another meteorologist at The Weather Network, says that the Prairies will experience hot and dry weather during the long weekend. Manitoba can expect to see a brief break from the high temperatures this weekend, but the hot weather will quickly return on Monday.

Parts of Alberta will kick off next week with some active weather, including localized showers and thunderstorms. “However, this will not bring widespread drought relief to southern areas where a soaking rain is desperately needed,” Gillham states.

You can read more about the long weekend forecast, and the extreme weather contrast that Canada is experiencing, here.

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