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Funnel cloud spawns in Alberta

Mean clouds dominate the sky.
Mean clouds dominate the sky.

Jill Colton, staff writer

July 22, 2011 — Radar at the Grand Prairie Airport in Alberta detected a funnel cloud Thursday afternoon. Tornado watches were in effect for surrounding areas.

File photo of a funnel cloud.
File photo of a funnel cloud.

The onslaught of severe weather across the Prairies persists for another day.

Environment Canada said conditions were favourable for the development of funnel clouds or weak tornadoes in parts of northern Alberta, Thursday.

Tornado watches were in effect for Whitcourt, Hinton, Grand Prairie and surrounding areas.

One cold core funnel cloud was reported at Grand Prairie Airport in Grand Prairie.

“These type of funnel clouds form out of large cumulus clouds or weak thunderstorms and don't normally have the energy to reach the ground,” explains Gerald Cheng, a meteorologist here at The Weather Network.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean cold cores are not dangerous. In fact, EC says that even though they may only briefly touch down, cold cores can become very destructive over a very small area.

All funnel clouds and tornadoes should be treated very seriously. Should one develop overhead, it's essential to take shelter until it dissipates.

EC says that funnel clouds normally appear with little to no warning.

Fierce storms have been firing up across parts of the Prairies for the lesser part of a week. The sweltering heat and humidity has helped many of the storms turn severe in nature. In Alberta at around 10:30 pm local time on Monday, there were reports of a tornado touch down near Lloydminster.

For a closer look at the weather in your area, head to the Canadian Cities Index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV for up-to-date coverage on severe weather.

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