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Damaging storm sweeps through Manitoba

Powerful lightning strikes
Powerful lightning strikes

Jill Colton, staff writer

June 28, 2010 — More active weather hammered the Prairies this weekend, with extensive damage reported in Manitoba.

Funnel cloud hangs over Rossburn, Atla.
Funnel cloud hangs over Rossburn, Atla.

Severe and active weather should come as no surprise to those in the Prairies these days.

Between tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm watches, the Prairie provinces have remained on the radar for the last couple of weeks now. And the situation this past week was no different.

Emergency management was in full swing in Steinbach, Manitoba (50 km southeast of Winnipeg), on Saturday evening after a ferocious storm roared through the region. There were reports throughout the day of strong winds, nickel and golf ball sized hail and funnel clouds. Vicious winds were also part of the storm. The rain was so heavy at one point, visibility was cut to almost zero.

There have been no confirmed reports of tornadoes, but the damage suggests otherwise. Trees were uprooted, which in turn affected buildings and farms and cut power to hundreds of customers.Officials concluded the winds were a result of a microburst.

Meanwhile, The St. Andrews and Selkirk areas (north of Winnipeg) were drenched with nearly 40 mm of rain. The relentless wet weather has been endured by the province for almost a month now. With the saturated ground, there's concern that additional rain could produce heavy runoffs and flash flooding. The Assiniboine River Valley is under a serious flood warning.

Sunday was also a horrid weather day for the Agathe area, just south of Winnipeg. Golf-ball sized hail rocked the region, causing vehicle and crop damage. Funnel clouds were also reported in the town of Wasagaming.

Thunderstorm risk continues for the Prairies
Thunderstorm risk continues for the Prairies

While Manitoba was mostly in the spotlight for active weather this weekend, Alberta and Saskatchewan have seen their fair share as well lately.

Just this past Friday, tornado warnings were issued for several areas in southern Saskatchewan. As the last week of June begins, the provinces can expect to see a bit of an improving trend. High pressure has started to build in bringing warmer conditions to the area.

However, there's still a risk for some isolated, severe thundershowers throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta Monday evening. For Tuesday, more thunderstorms are expected to fire up across most of Saskatchewan and in Edmonton and Fort McMurray.

You can also find out more about the rain in the Prairies by tuning into The Weather Network on TV. The National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of each hour.

With files from CTV and Andrea Stockton

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