A warm and moist airmass funnelling in from the U.S., combined with strong southerly winds helped to create the ideal conditions for severe storms in parts of the Prairies on Thursday.
Tornado watches and warnings were issued for areas in southern Saskatchewan, including the town of Shaunavon. Environment Canada said a weak tornado was reported 2 km northwest of the town during the afternoon hours.
According to Saskatchewan RCMP, some granaries near Highway 37 were damaged and thrown from their original location. Several power lines were also damaged. An official from SaskPower said about 30 customers were affected. More people would be without power when the power company cuts power to make repairs, the official added.
Police have received no reports of injuries.
One of The Weather Network's Facebook fans said, “they made us all go into the hallways in the school till we got the ok to leave.”
Residents are urged to treat all funnel clouds and tornadoes seriously. If one develops nearby, take shelter underground or in a reinforced structure like a bathroom or interior closet.
The storms have also been bringing heavy downpours and strong winds gusting over 90 km/h. There were reports of quarter and even golf ball sized hail in southern Manitoba. Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, says the risk for severe thunderstorms will continue through the overnight hours.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison and The Canadian Press