July 14, 2015 12:02 pm

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect in southwestern Manitoba Tuesday

A tornado touches down near Manitou, Man., in June.

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WINNIPEG – Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for southwestern Manitoba Tuesday morning, saying such storms can produce tornadoes.

Brandon, Virden, Killarney, Melita and Minnedosa are all in the watch area. A full list of communities under the advisory can be found below.

Conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain this afternoon, the alert said. The threat is expected to diminish late Tuesday.

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The watch comes a day after many Winnipeggers saw a large funnel cloud form over the south end of the city. There’s a 60 per cent chance of thunderstorms in Winnipeg Tuesday afternoon, the weather agency said.

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Funnel cloud spotted in south Winnipeg

Many expressed surprise Monday that no warning was issued before the funnel cloud appeared Monday, but the likelihood of such action was actually very small, said Natalie Hazell of Environment Canada.

“The thing that is important to remember, occasionally, even non-severe thunderstorms, those run-of-the-mill thunderstorms, if they tap into a bit of rotation … you could have an enhancement of that rotation and a funnel cloud would form,” Hazell said.

Despite the very small likelihood of a funnel cloud forming, forecasters weren’t surprised by Monday’s event over Winnipeg, she said.

“We were not expecting tornadoes yesterday, but were not surprised by funnel clouds,” she said. “You should know those non-severe thunderstorms can occasionally produce severe weather.”

READ MORE: Wild weather brings tornado to Manitoba, shuts down folk fest early

Automatic interruptions of radio and television programming only happen for tornado warnings, Hazell said.

The severe thunderstorm warning issued Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. is in effect for:

  • Virden, Souris;
  • Brandon, Carberry, Treherne;
  • Melita, Boissevain, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park;
  • Killarney, Pilot Mound, Manitou; and
  • Minnedosa, Neepawa, Russell and Riding Mountain National Park.

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