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Storm risk a worry for wildfire-hit regions in Manitoba, NW Ontario

Friday, July 23rd 2021, 6:45 pm - The possibility of severe thunderstorms in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario Friday raises concerns over new wildfires sparking or localized flooding from heavy downpours.

With wildfires continuing to threaten multiple communities in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario, the threat of more thunderstorms occurring in both provinces Friday is not welcomed news. The aforementioned regions may see severe thunderstorms. While the rainfall is most desired, the lightning risk isn't. More on the severe threat and what's beyond, below.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY: STORM THREAT SHIFTS

The occluded system will be dragging through Manitoba and northwestern Ontario Friday, bringing with it the chance of thunderstorms, potentially severe in some areas, across both provinces. The threat of lightning may spark new wildfires in the aforementioned regions.

While there were severe storms linger in parts of Manitoba early Friday morning, the chance will reappear in the afternoon for Winnipeg and areas west. The severe potential will shift into northwestern Ontario in the evening and linger overnight.

PRRiskFri

RELATED: New forest fires in northwestern Ontario hit single-day high

Heavy downpours with any severe storm that develops could be a blessing or a curse -- with the potential of localized flooding or help douse the wildfires. The other main hazard to contend with will be large hail.

Winds will be fairly strong, with 80+km/h gusts in the northern Prairies in the afternoon and evening, possibly continuing overnight.

On Saturday, a trough will bring rain and the risk of thunderstorms into the northern Prairies Saturday, where there will be pockets of heavier moisture. The storms will spark in the morning hours, moving southeast through the day and may roll through parts of central Saskatchewan and Manitoba in the evening.

Winds will remains gusty Saturday, reaching the 50-60 km/h range.

Temperature-wise, daytime highs will be in the mid-to-upper 20s across the south Friday and Saturday, with parts of extreme southwestern Alberta approaching or hitting the 30-degree mark on the latter.

Current fires - July 23, 2021 (Updated July 23)

LOOK AHEAD: STAYING WARM AND MOSTLY DRY

The Prairie region has been in the grip of hot temperatures for some time, though the extreme heat will stay south of the border. According to Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, there's little relief ahead yet, so the severe drought conditions will contunue across much of the region into next week.

With a low moving in from B.C., there will be a risk for strong to severe storms in central Alberta Sunday afternoon and evening.

PRTempSun

A strong ridge will build into the Prairies in the long range, allowing for heat to surge in again Monday and Tuesday.

Continued high heat and little rainfall is a terrible prospect for agriculture on the Prairies, which is already suffering from the effects of the heat and dryness they’ve experienced so far this season.

Be sure to check back for the latest forecast and conditions on the Prairies.

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