Hail pelts parts of southern Saskatchewan on Sunday

·2 min read

Southern Saskatchewan saw some ominous weather systems Sunday that produced hail in some areas and a tornado warning near Melville.

Natalie Hasell, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said a tornado warning was issued around 7 p.m. CST Sunday evening for the RMs of Stanley and Cana near Melville.

Hasell said there has not been any confirmation that a tornado touched down, but that Environment Canada is still investigating.

Hasell said there were reports of hail in some places — from loonie sized in Prelate in the southwest to quarter-sized hail in Weyburn and in the southeast in Fenwood.

Submitted by Teresa Wotherspoon
Submitted by Teresa Wotherspoon

Teresa Wotherspoon went out to get some photos of the bank of clouds moving toward Melville around 7:30 p.m. CST Sunday.

"[It] was definitely a surreal experience being able to capture the intensity of this magnificent shelf cloud," Wotherspoon said.

"For me to see that was quite amazing, [and] a little scary though."

Wotherspoon said the storm lasted more than an hour.

"We had heavy rain," Wotherspoon said. "Very little hail in town, but I did hear of heavy hail outside of Melville, probably on the west side where the start of the cloud was."

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips said that while much of Saskatchewan has seen above normal rain and wind, it has been about average for severe weather.

"It hasn't been as much as you have had in more active kinds of years," Phillips said.

"July is really the month for most active weather. For hail, for plow winds, for tornado events."

Submitted by Teresa Wotherspoon
Submitted by Teresa Wotherspoon

Phillips said Saskatchewan gets more tornadoes than any other province in Canada.

"Most of them are little guys like EF [Enhanced Fujita Scale] zeros, ones and maybe a two. But hey, it's very much part of the summer scene in Saskatchewan."

Phillips expects the rest of summer in most of the province will be warmer than normal, with average rainfall.

"My sense is the best summer is yet to come."

Hasell said most of Saskatchewan could see a risk of thunderstorm on Monday, though they are not expected to be severe.

But any thunderstorm can be dangerous and people should take precautions, she said.

Anyone who sees severe weather can contact Environment Canada at 1-800-239-0484, or email skstorm@canada.ca.