Parts of east-central Alberta could see severe thunderstorm activity late Wednesday afternoon, including the possibility of tornado activity.
The weather is expected to affect a stretch of Alberta from the Nordegg area northeast towards the Cold Lake region. The risk of tornadic storms developing is greatest east of Edmonton to the Saskatchewan border.
“Storms that initiate west and southwest of Edmonton and move into east central Alberta this afternoon and early evening will be of the most concern,” Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer said.
At 4:36 p.m., Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of Red Deer County.
“This severe thunderstorm is located 10 kilometres east of Caroline and is moving eastward at 40 km/h,” the weather agency said in its warning, which was lifted shortly before 7 p.m.
At 5:33 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Mountain View County.
“Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions,” Environment Canada said.
The warning for Mountain View County was lifted at 6:13 p.m. At the same time, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Kneehill County and Environment Canada said “walnut-sized hail has been reported with this storm.”
The warning was lifted for Kneehill County shortly before 7 p.m.
At 6:35 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the M.D. of Bonnyville, and expanded to parts the County of St. Paul just 15 minutes later.
“Meteorologists are tracking a line of severe thunderstorms capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel-sized hail and heavy rain,” the weather agency said in its warning for the area.
At 7:08 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the County of Vermilion River. That warning was lifted 15 minutes later.
At 7:41 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of Yellowhead County. The warning was later lifted.
At 8:41 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Clearwater County. That warning was later lifted.
Moisture in the air combined with daytime heat could create instability in the atmosphere capable of triggering severe summer weather, according to the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Centre and Beyer.
“Atmospheric parameters with upper level support, moisture and lift will lead to the possibility of nearly tennis ball size hail, wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h and tornadoes,” Beyer said.
He added heavy rainfall and lightning are also expected.
Southeast sections of the storm system could see thunderstorms capable of producing two- to three-centimetre size hail and wind gusts up to 100 km/h.
There have been several severe thunderstorm watches and warnings in recent weeks, as well as funnel cloud advisories.
“It’s important to not let them become white noise, and should not be ignored due to frequency,” Beyer cautioned.
“Even though there is always some level of variation, this afternoon could turn into a dangerous situation for some people in east central Alberta. Stay informed and have a severe weather plan,” he said.
Environment Canada said on Monday afternoon that a weak EF0 tornado touched down about 75 kilometres south of Grande Prairie in northwestern Alberta.
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Listen below: Senior climatologist with Environment Canada talks to 630 CHED’s Afternoon News about Edmonton’s wet start to summer.