What to do when severe summer weather hits

Click to play video: 'How to stay safe when severe weather strikes' How to stay safe when severe weather strikes
WATCH ABOVE: Global Edmonton's chief weather anchor Jesse Beyer offers some tips on how to stay safe when severe weather hits – Jul 4, 2016

In the summer, severe weather can hit at any time and when it does do you know what to do to keep yourself and your family safe?

In the past four days alone, there have been four confirmed tornadoes or probable tornadoes in Alberta. No injuries were reported, but if you were put in a situation where severe weather was approaching, would you know what to do?

From hail and flooding, to thunderstorms and tornadoes, here’s a look at what you should do in each situation to stay safe.

Thunder and lightning

Every year in Canada, lightning kills approximately 10 Canadians and injures 100 to 150 others. The most important thing to remember, according to Environment Canada, is there is no safe place outdoors during a thunderstorm.

“Lightning is the most deadly single weather event in Canada, leading to more fatalities and injuries than any other weather event other than the cold,” Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer said.

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“With over two million lightning strikes recorded annually – nearly one strike every three seconds in the summer – this should be top of mind while taking part in outdoor activities.”

READ MORE: Lightning: Know how to stay safe

If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Whether you’re in the garden or on the golf course, it’s important to take shelter immediately.

  • If you cannot find an enclosed building, get into a metal-roofed vehicle and stay inside for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder
  • If you are in a car, do not park under tall objects that could topple
  • If you are stuck outside, do not stand near tall objects, under trees or anything made of metal. Take shelter in a low lying area
  • If you are on the water get to shore as quickly as possible

READ MORE: 5 severe weather myths debunked


Peak tornado season is June through August. Two of the top four deadliest tornadoes in Canadian history have occurred in Alberta. In Edmonton in 1987, 27 people were killed on what’s now known as Black Friday. In Pine Lake in 2000, 12 people were killed when a tornado ripped through Green Acres Campground.

Watch below: Pine Lake marks 15 years since devastating tornado – July 2015

When it comes to tornadoes, it’s important to keep an eye on the sky and monitor Environment Canada weather watches and warnings. When a tornado threatens, take shelter immediately.

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  • Head to the lowest level of a sturdy building and stick to the middle of the structure
  • Stay away from exterior walls and windows
  • Close all doors and windows
  • If you are in a multi-storey building get towards the centre of the building and to the lower floors if possible
  • If you are in a mobile home, head to the nearest sturdy shelter
  • If you are outside without shelter, lie flat in a ditch, ravine or low-lying area and shield you head and neck with your arms

Watch below: Global’s coverage of the tornado activity near Ponoka Thursday, June 30, 2016

READ MORE: A tornado is coming: These are the services that could save your life


Strong winds can damage property and turn loose items into dangerous projectiles. Environment Canada recommends staying inside until it is safe but urges people to stay away from outside walls and windows.

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READ MORE: 4 things Canada needs to do to prepare for extreme weather events

Heavy rain and flooding

On average, the Prairies sees about 20 short-lived severe thunderstorm rain events per year. It’s important for people to know the potential risks for flooding in their area.

  • Avoid roadway underpasses, drainage ditches, low lying areas and water collection areas as they can unexpectedly flood or overflow
  • Do not try to drive across a flooded road because you may not know the condition of the road underneath
  • Stay away from power lines or electrical wires

READ MORE: Thunderstorms 101: Derechoes, supercells, multi-cells…what it all means


While it may be tempting to go to the window and snap a picture when hail begins to fall, hail can be dangerous and cause extensive damage.

  • Seek shelter in a solid building and stay away from windows, glass doors or skylights as the glass can shatter
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over and protect yourself from possible shattered glass
  • If you are outside with no shelter, crouch down, face away from the wind and protect your head and neck with your arms
  • If lightning is also present, stay away from tall objects such as trees, towers, metal fences or posts

READ MORE: Tips for staying safe during severe weather

For more information on severe weather, head to Environment Canada’s website.

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Want your weather on the go? Download Global News’ Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Watch below: Alberta has been hit by some wild weather over the past few days. Severe storms have been popping up in virtually every corner of the province and have ranged from heavy rain to tornado warnings. With every warning comes a rush of adrenaline for storm chasers. But as Sarah Kraus reports, doing so is incredibly dangerous.

Click to play video: 'Severe weather across Alberta poses danger for storm chasers' Severe weather across Alberta poses danger for storm chasers
Severe weather across Alberta poses danger for storm chasers – Jul 4, 2016

Watch below: A massive storm cell blew through the Killam/ Hardisty region Sunday afternoon. A tornado warning was issued for the region at 4:24 p.m. The warning was dropped at 4:46 p.m. Here’s a look at a funnel cloud spotted in the Killam area Sunday. 

Click to play video: 'Funnel cloud spotted near Killam, AB' Funnel cloud spotted near Killam, AB
Funnel cloud spotted near Killam, AB – Jul 3, 2016


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