Tornado touched down near Morris, Sask. on Thursday, Environment Canada confirms

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Large wall cloud with lightning spotted near Gerald, Sask. (Submitted by Janina Kemp - image credit)
Large wall cloud with lightning spotted near Gerald, Sask. (Submitted by Janina Kemp - image credit)

A tornado touched down near Morris, Sask., Thursday afternoon, Environment and Climate Change Canada has confirmed.

As hail, rain and dramatic cloud formations filled the sky on Thursday,  ECCC issued several broadcast-intrusive alerts throughout the night for the second time in a week.

"We had one confirmed tornado touched down near Morris at 5:38 p.m. CST," ECCC meteorologist Terri Lang said Friday.

"As for the reports that we've received, it just touched down in a field and didn't do any damage," Lang said

Lang says staff will assess damage in the area and prepare an EF rating for the twister in the coming days.

While there were a number of tornado warnings throughout the late afternoon on Thursday, the one near Morse, southeast of Saskatoon, was the only confirmed touchdown in Saskatchewan.

Another possible tornado was sighted along the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border near Binscarth, Man., Lang says.

ECCC also confirmed this week that a tornado touched down in the southwest part of the province on Monday.

It happened just north of the hamlet of Rheinfeld, about 260 kilometres southwest of Regina and the location of the Centennial wind farm, at about 5:40 p.m. CST.

Submitted by Jennifer Haas
Submitted by Jennifer Haas

Elsewhere, Jennifer Haas was out shopping with her kids after baseball practice in Yorkton, about 190 kilometres northeast of Regina, when she heard the first tornado warning.

"It started raining like crazy for about 10 to 15 minutes," she said. "After that, it just kind of stopped and it was just a complete downpour along with that hail."

Haas said she couldn't see out the windows of her parked car and decided to wait out the storm.

Submitted by Jennifer Haas
Submitted by Jennifer Haas

"I have no idea how much rain it would have been, but if I stepped out of the car I know that it was up to the door," Haas said.

Haas says Broadway Street in Yorkton was completely inundated with water and hail, but the roads looked much better on Friday after road crews went to work.

The wind just died. It was just calm. It was very eerie. - Jennifer Kemp, Gerald, Sask.

Storm enthusiast Jennifer Kemp didn't have to leave her backyard in Gerald, Sask.,190 kilometres northeast of Regina, to get the show of a lifetime.

Kemp says she was doing yard work when she saw a massive cloud bank approaching.

"I went to the end of the driveway and there was that big wall cloud and it was on top of my head," Kemp recalled.

Chasing storms has been a passion of Kemp's since she was a kid, but she says this one was special.

"I just stayed there for every last minute," she said, before the rain forced her indoors. "There was so much movement — everything was moving. It seemed like the clouds came up from the ground out of nowhere and it's very weird looking."

Lang says more than 46 millimetres of rain was reported in Churchbridge, about 55 kilometres southeast of Yorkton, while the Community Collective of Hail Rain and Snow reports Esterhazy, 35 kilometres southwest of Churchbridge, received 65 millimetres of rain.

Lang says ECCC is still looking for photos and eyewitness accounts from Thursday's storm. Anyone with information can connect via Twitter using the hashtag #SKstorm.

Lang says the investigation of Thursday's storm is continuing, and it could result in more tornadoes being confirmed.


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