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Intense thunderstorms rock southern Alberta

Prairie thunderstorm risk
Prairie thunderstorm risk

Jill Colton, staff writer

July 19, 2011 — Extremely severe thunderstorms are hammering parts of southern Alberta. Tornado warnings are also in effect.

Rainfall warnings.
Rainfall warnings.

Heavy downpours, large sized-hail, lightning, thunder and potentially a tornado. All the usual suspects are accompanying severe storm cells marching their way through southern Alberta.

Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for cities like Calgary, Drumheller, Red Deer and Medicine Hat Tuesday night.

Reports to the Stormline said that golf ball-sized hail was punching the ground in Carseland, southeast of Calgary.

At 6:50 p.m. Doppler Radar showed a rotating thunderstorm 20 km east northeast of Drumheller. Environment Canada says there's a chance the system could produce a tornado. People are being asked to seek shelter and follow immediate safety precautions.

Meanwhile, other severe cells were spotted on the radar. One was southeast of Strathmore the other near Medicine Hat. There's a chance these storms could produce large hail, damaging winds and heavy rain.

Several of The Weather Network's Twitter followers snapped pictures of the active weather. Various reports from Twitter sources suggested the storm was large in nature and very intense.

Storms are also sparking up in southern Saskatchewan and the Interlake areas of Manitoba due to a low. According to meteorologists here at The Weather Network, the storms are related to a low moving through and daytime heating.

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