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An area of thunderstorms developed along the Alberta foothills Thursday afternoon producing large and damaging hail and a gustnado.

Large hail, gustnado hit southern Alberta

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Andrea Bagley
Digital Reporter

Friday, August 8, 2014, 6:49 AM - Severe thunderstorms swept through parts of Alberta once again Thursday, producing damaging hail and a "gustnado."

"Although Calgary was not directly affected by a thunderstorm, there was a report of a gustnado near Stony Trail and Metis Trail and northeastern Calgary," says Environment Canada in a weather summary. "Gustnadoes are short-lived, low-level rotation associated with the outflow winds from a thunderstorm. In this case the gustnado formed on the outflow of a thunderstorm that passed through Airdrie," EC explains.

Police say no damage was reported from the phenomenon.

RELATED VIDEO: Gustnado strikes Georgia neighbourhood

Toonie, golf ball and even tennis ball sized hail were also reported near Airdrie Thursday afternoon, making some places look much more like the middle of winter than an August day.

It also caused significant damage to some car windshields.


Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms across parts of the Prairies once again Friday.

EXTENDED ACTIVE WEATHER COVERAGE: Tune in to The Weather Network for live updates on the summer storms in your area. Our team of reporters and meteorologists in the field provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date coverage.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued early Friday for areas in Saskatchewan and Manitoba warning of storms that may be capable of producing "strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain."

"Fast moving water across a road can sweep a vehicle away," warns EC. "Large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles. Remember, severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes."

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