Update @ 5:23 p.m. -- Severe Thunderstorm warning issued for:
- City of Winnipeg
- R.M. of St. Laurent
- R.M. of St. Clements
- R.M. of Macdonald
- R.M. of Ritchot
- R.M. of Brokenhead
- R.M. of Springfield
Environment Canada has issued a tornado watch for the City of Winnipeg and surrounding areas, and the public is encouraged to keep their eyes on the sky for signs of dangerous weather.
At 11:54 a.m. today, Environment Canada issued a tornado watch for most of southern Manitoba, including Eastman and the Interlake regions.
Later this afternoon, Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Winkler, Portage la Prairie, Arborg, and Little Grand Rapids areas.
Conditions are favourable for the development of severe storms across southern Manitoba and for the possibility of funnel clouds forming, excessive rainfall and hail the size of golf balls.
If anyone witnesses a funnel cloud forming, Terri Lang from Environment Canada advises they take cover right away.
"When we talk about shelter for tornadoes, that means getting into a solid building into the most interior room that you can and to the lowest floor that you can," says Lang. "So, if you have a basement, go into the basement, into a closet or under the stairs. Bathrooms work as well, but away from windows and doors and stay there until the threat has passed."
Lang also says that storms like this typically show in the late afternoon to early evening, but she still advises people to keep looking to the sky for threats of extreme weather.
She says to view a severe weather watch as a boiling pot, to keep an eye out for when the "bubbles rise."
"We're noticing these storms are slow moving, and when storms are slow-moving they have a capacity to dump a lot of water. It tends to be worse over urban areas because everything is paved over so the water has nowhere to go," says Lang on the possibility of a flash flood.
On the bright side, the atmosphere is going to stabilize as Canada Day long-weekend approaches. Hot temperatures are expected during the weekend and then Manitoba could see a storm pattern return entering into the new week, according to Lang.
Thunderstorms should move into Ontario late this evening.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to MBstorm@ec.gc.ca or tweet reports using #MBStorm.