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Tornado touches down in Saskatchewan


Staff writers

June 27, 2012 — A large tornado touched down in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on Tuesday. No structural damage or injuries reported.

Stormhunter chasing the storms on Tuesday
Stormhunter chasing the storms on Tuesday

The last couple of days across the Prairies have kept storm chasers busy with severe weather. Including The Weather Network's own Stormhunter Mark Robinson who was in southern Saskatchewan on Tuesday.

"All the ingredients for a severe weather outbreak are coming together," Robinson said as the chase began. "We have heat, we have humidity and we have the winds for the perfect position to create rotating storms...These kind of storms can produce large hail, heavy rain, high winds and sometimes even tornadoes."

At least one tornado touched down near Moose Jaw around 5:30 pm Tuesday evening. The twister hit a wide open field and fortunately no damage or injuries were reported. Environment Canada issued a tornado warning for the area, but that was dropped about an hour later as the storm cell weakened significantly.

Still, the severe thunderstorm that spawned the tornado managed to unleash large hail, strong winds, heavy rain and frequent lightning across the region. The storms also led to sighting of Mammatus clouds in the Regina and Moose Jaw areas. 

The Weather Network's meteorology director, Chris Scott, reported an average of 10,000 lightning strikes over a 30 minute period, which he said was the most powerful storm complex in North America at the time.

The stormy weather continued Tuesday night, with strong winds whipping across Saskatoon. Branches, trees and powerlines were brought to the ground. Many residents were left without electricity. Just the day before, Saskatoon residents had been in the dark as well after lightning struck a transmission structure outside the city.

Damage left behind from the severe storms
Damage left behind from the severe storms

In neighbouring Manitoba, wind damage was reported in the communities of Silverton and Rossburn. Environment Canada is expected to investigate the damage.

Meanwhile, several residents in the Prince Albert, SK area remain without power after Monday night's storm. The severe weather closed schools in the city and forced a dozen people out of their apartment building.

Officials recommend that people stay home, and SaskPower says it could take some time before the power is fully restored.

"We have structures down and structures that have been damaged," SaskPower executive Mike Marsh said Tuesday. "We are in very rough terrain, and of course, very, very wet conditions with the amount of rain."

There are also reports of structural damage elsewhere.

In North Battleford, a 7-11 canopy collapsed, falling on at least one vehicle.

Conditions continued to be blusery on Wednesday, with Environment Canada issuing wind warnings for dozens of communities. 

A peak wind gust of 111 km/h was recorded in Kindersley, while Saskatoon and Regina recorded gusts of 93 km/h. The roof of a grocery story in Humboldt was damaged during the stormy weather. 

Calmer conditions are forecast across Saskatchewan for Thursday.

For latest watches and warnings visit our Alerts page. 

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