Saturday, June 12th 2021, 11:29 am - Severe weather has been a frequent occurrence on the Prairies in June so far, spawning at least two tornadoes.
The first half of June has been rather stormy on the Prairies -- from soaking rains and hail to at least two tornadoes. This week, in particular, featured several days of severe weather that yielded Manitoba's third tornado in 2021.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), in collaboration with the Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project, confirmed that a tornado occurred at approximately 12:30 pm local time on Wednesday, June 9 in Altona, Man. It is the province's third confirmed twister this year, with two landspout tornadoes verified in May.
The June 9 tornado was given a preliminary EF-0 rating, with an estimated wind speed of 120 km/h.
The Northern Tornadoes Project conducted a ground survey on June 10, with video supplied by ECCC's Manitoba branch, determining the twister had a path length of 1.8 km and a maximum width of 50 metres. It also noted there was roof damage, an overturned trailer and tree damage.
SEVERE WEATHER JUNE 9-11
Back-to-back thunderstorms on June 9 and 10 in southern Manitoba, particularly in Westman, produced heavy rain that led to localized flooding, and caused damage associated with strong winds and the tornado.
Using the ECCC's observation network to compile data, the 24-hour rainfall amounts as of June 11 were pretty hefty in some areas. Brandon received 54-72 mm, Melita saw 51.7 mm and Shoal Lake got 48 mm.
According to Manitoba Fire and Agriculture's observation network, during the same time period, Deloraine received 73.8 mm, Boissevain got 73.7 mm and Mountainside received 70.1 mm of rainfall.
Peak wind gusts were quite strong in parts of Manitoba, with Pilot Mound observing 91 km/h, and 87 km/h reported in Roblin and Rosa.
Thursday, June 10 was also quite active in Saskatchewan, which saw multiple severe thunderstorms sweep in from stateside through the southern portion of the province. The storms brought heavy rain, strong wind gusts and large hail.
Loonie-sized hail (2.7 cm in diameter) occurred 15 km southeast of Assiniboia, while ping pong ball-sized hail (3.5 cm in diameter) was observed in Saint Victors and near Limerick.
Saskatchewan also saw much-needed rainfall over a 24-hour period, with varying amounts across the province. As of June 11, with data from the ECCC observation network, Regina received 40-61 mm, Estevan saw 44 mm and Bratts Lake got 36.8 mm.
The wind gusts were also rather fierce in Saskatchewan, with Yellow Grass registering 124 km/h and Weyburn reporting 94 km/h.
As well, a line of severe nocturnal storms pushed through parts of Manitoba in the early morning hours on Friday, June 11, bringing frequent lightning and heavy downpours, and the threat for some damaging winds, with gusts in excess of 90 km/h and possibly hail. Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were issued.
There were also wind warnings in Manitoba Friday, with photos of damage resulting from reported gusts in excess of 100 km/h surfacing on social media.
JUNE 5 TORNADO IN ALBERTA
Earlier this month, severe thunderstorms generated a tornado near Blackie, Alta., on Saturday, June 5. It was confirmed by ECCC after multiple visuals of the twister surfaced on social media.
On June 5, a tornado occurred near Blackie, Alta. (Kyle Brittain).
On the afternoon of June 5, a severe thunderstorm developed north of High River and moved eastward past the community of Blackie. The weather agency also received reports of up to toonie-sized hail during much of the lifespan of the storm.
Further or clearer details about the event may be revealed by ECCC, as the agency was looking for more photographic evidence for its investigation.
It was Alberta's first tornado in 2021.
Thumbnail courtesy of Collin S. via Manitoba Storm Watch on Facebook.
Nathan Howes can be followed on Twitter: @HowesNathan.