Residents of southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba are assessing the damage this morning after a series of powerful storms swept through, bringing torrential rain, damaging hailstones and possibly even two tornadoes.
Severe thunderstorm watches and even tornado watches were in effect for the area for most of the day as Environment Canada forecasters anticipated trouble from severe weather on Saturday. The severe thunderstorm watches turned to warnings, though, starting in the early afternoon for regions around Weyburn, Stoughton and Carlyle, SK, as a line of storms became more powerful and organized. Streets became flooded due to heavy rain and in some areas, the scene was briefly transformed into something you'd expect to see in January, rather than July, as hail was so thick on the ground it looked like a snowstorm had gone through.
Along with these inconvenient or interesting events, though, came truly dangerous ones. Several regions reported golf ball-sized hail and one even mentioned hail the size of grapefruit, and at least two tornadoes apparently touched down, one near Minton and another near Carlyle.
"We now have one confirmed report of a tornado, and several other storms in the area between Carlyle and Bengough are looking rather ominous at the moment," said meteorologist Bill Purcell, according to the Regina news radio station, CJME.
Images posted on Twitter gave just a sample of the hail that people in the region were seeing, and the damage it was causing:
— Greg Johnson (@canadogreg) July 13, 2013
These storms caused even more trouble as they passed into Manitoba, as southwestern parts of the province were slammed with powerful winds, hailstones up to golf-ball size, and there were reports of a tornado touchdown near Pipestone and Hartney, southwest of Brandon, MB.
Significant damage was reported in parts of Pipestone, with pictures showing up on Twitter of campers flipped on their sides, and in one case, a mobile home apparently thrown into the local community centre hall:
— Danny Johnston (@Snipe_All_Day) July 14, 2013
Also, according to The Brandon Sun: "Surrounding farmers saw barn roofs blown off and farm equipment thrown across properties." Environment Canada reported that it was the same tornado that tore through Pipestone and then tracked east to Hartney, and the storm was accompanied by heavy rain and up to tennis ball-sized hail.
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It's expected to be a quiet day, weather-wise, today, giving residents a chance to take stock of the damage. More thunderstorms are in the forecast for southern Saskatchewan for tomorrow, though.
In other parts of the country, southern Ontario and southern Quebec are experiencing hot, humid conditions, with regions of Quebec around Montreal and the St. Lawrence Valley under a heat and humidity warning as humidex values are expected to get up above 40 by tomorrow afternoon. Regions of Ontario from Windsor all the way to Ottawa and Cornwall are under a humidex advisory, as values are expected to reach at least 30, and possibly get up to 40, over the next few days.
Environment Canada weather watches and warnings can be found on their website. Special weather statements can also be found there, which not only discuss coming weather conditions, but also recap significant weather events over the past day.
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