Unsettled weather will end the week on the Prairies with a risk for thunderstorms covering parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Some of the storms could turn severe, and conditions are favourable for the development of funnel clouds. More on Friday’s severe storm threat and beyond, below.
FRIDAY: SEVERE STORMS COULD PRODUCE FUNNEL CLOUDS
It’s been cool and comfortable on the Prairies for the past week or so, a welcome change from the brutal heat we’ve seen for much of the summer. The cool temperatures are part of an active pattern over the western half of the country.
A low-pressure system moving over Alberta and Saskatchewan will trigger a widespread risk for thunderstorms through the latter half of Friday.
Even though temperatures are a bit cooler at the surface, cold air aloft will provide enough instability to kick off storms across parts of the region.
Some of the storms could turn severe in eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan, producing strong wind gusts, heavy rainfall, and large hail.
There’s also a risk for funnel clouds across parts of the two provinces, a risk area that includes Saskatoon, Swift Current, Medicine Hat, and Oyen.
Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a weather advisory for eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan alerting residents of the potential for funnel clouds.
“These types of funnel clouds are generated by weak rotation under rapidly growing clouds or weak thunderstorms,” ECCC said in the advisory. “This weak rotation is normally not a danger near the ground. However, there is a chance that this rotation could intensify and become a weak landspout tornado.”
The agency added: “If conditions become more favourable for the development of landspout tornadoes, watches and warnings will be issued by Environment Canada.”
THROUGH NEXT WEEK: COOLER AND WETTER PATTERN ON THE WAY
The active pattern shows no signs of letting up next week.
A large storm system could develop over the U.S. Plains next week and track north toward the Prairies by midweek, bringing widespread rainfall and thunderstorms to the region. Another rainy system could develop and move over the region by the end of next week.
Check back for the latest on conditions across the Prairies.