June 28, 2019 7:47 pm
Updated: July 8, 2019 6:09 pm

Man captures video of waterspout on Cold Lake, tornado warning lifted in northern Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: A man says he captured footage of what appears to be a waterspout on Cold Lake on Friday night as a tornado warning was in effect for parts of northern Alberta.


An Alberta man camping by Cold Lake, Alta., for the long weekend captured video of a waterspout forming on the lake on a night where tornado warnings were in effect for northern parts of the province on Friday night.

“The storm had just kind of gone over with quite a bit of hail for five minutes,” Terry Rupp told Global News.”[I] just went for a walk down by the lake when the hail had quit and seen the water get agitated.

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“[I] just looked up in the clouds and things started forming, and ran up and grabbed the phone quickly and got the video.”

Rupp said the waterspout lasted for about six minutes before reaching land. He said it then dissipated but a funnel cloud formed again over land a moment later, lasting another 90 seconds or so.

“The water was getting agitated,” Rupp said of when he first saw the waterspout form. “You could see it a little bit and then you could see the funnel start coming down from the cloud too, and they kind of met in the middle.

“It was something pretty neat to see.”

Rupp said he wasn’t overly concerned by what he saw as he saw a funnel cloud in Ponoka three years ago and the waterspout was clearly moving away from him.

A tornado warning for part of northern Alberta was lifted at about 9 p.m. on Friday night.

“The tornado warning has been downgraded to a severe thunderstorm warning,” Environment Canada said.

Darrell Smith, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, told Global News there were no reports of damage or injuries caused by the waterspout.

“What occurred in Cold Lake… we had a funnel touching the ground but we believe that’s a waterspout — there was no doppler signature supporting rotation, which is quite common with waterspouts.,” he said. “Reports from the areas were that it existed over the lake and as soon as it hit landfall, it dissipated quickly.”

Smith said Environment Canada was still looking into other reports as well on a busy day and evening.

“We’ve had an active severe weather day with several severe thunderstorm warnings through most of central and parts of northern Alberta,” he said. “Two tornado warnings in particular for Lac La Biche.

“The first warning was as a result of a report from an RCMP officer just before 6 p.m., that there was a funnel, and later on, we saw through social media a video of a funnel that appeared to touch the ground and this was over Beaver Lake.

“This was evident on doppler… and it moved on into Lakeland Provincial Park.”

Smith said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage there either but they were still gathering information.

Less than 45 minutes after a tornado warning was dropped for parts of northern Alberta on Friday night, a new tornado warning was issued for Improvement District 349, including the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, at 7:26 p.m.

“Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm that is possibly producing a tornado,” the weather agency said on its website. “Damaging winds, large hail and locally intense rainfall are also possible.

“This possible tornado is located 50 km northwest of Jimmy Lake and is moving to the northeast at 30 km/h.”

A tornado warning that had been issued for parts of northern Alberta was lifted by Environment Canada at 6:47 p.m. on Friday evening.

Watch below: Global meteorologist Jesse Beyer’s weather forecast for Edmonton and surrounding areas from about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 28, 2019.

However, a severe thunderstorm warning remained in effect for Improvement District 349, including the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range. Severe thunderstorm warnings also remained in effect for other parts of central and northern Alberta.

“Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel-sized hail and heavy rain,” the weather agency said.

“This thunderstorm is located 65 kilometres northeast of Lac La Biche and is moving to the northeast at 25 km/h.”

A photo of the sky over the town of Lac La Biche, Alta., taken in the evening on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Courtesy: Scott Mitchell

The weather agency warned the storm could produce flash floods and flood roadways. It also warned that large hail could injure people or damage property.

Shortly before 6 p.m. on Friday, Environment Canada issued a tornado warning in northern Alberta for Improvement District 349, including the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, and Lac La Biche County near Lakeland Provincial Park and Recreation Area.

“Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm that is producing a tornado,” the weather agency said. “Damaging winds, large hail and locally intense rainfall are also possible.

“This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. Take cover immediately, if threatening weather approaches.”

An emergency alert was issued for Lac La Biche County in northern Alberta late Friday afternoon as Environment Canada warned of a “possible tornado” in the area.

“At 5:35 p.m., a rotating severe thunderstorm that is possibly producing a tornado is located 40 kilometres east of Lac La Biche, moving northeast at 20 km/h,” the weather agency said. “Communities in the path include the Lakeland Provincial Recreation Area.

“Seek shelter immediately in a basement or reinforced structure. Get low and put as many walls between yourself and the storm as possible. Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. If you are on the highway and cannot avoid the tornado, seek shelter in a ditch or ravine.”

READ MORE: Alberta has recorded 5 confirmed tornadoes in 2019 season so far

At 5:55 p.m., Environment Canada issued an update and said that the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range was also in the path of the possible tornado.

For a complete list of areas in Alberta that have been issued a weather alert, click here.

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Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of tornadoes.

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