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Tornado warning downgraded to severe thunderstorm for Calgary and surrounding communities

Click to play video 'Driver films possible tornado in southwest Calgary' Driver films possible tornado in southwest Calgary
WATCH: Video sent to Global News by Andrea Catttoni shows what could be a tornado whipping up dust in southwest Calgary. – Jul 23, 2020

At 2:36 p.m., Environment Canada issued a tornado warning for the city of Calgary, as well as the surrounding areas of Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds, Sundre, Okotoks, High River and Claresholm. The warning was lifted less than an hour later.

But southern Alberta isn’t in the clear just yet. At 3:30 p.m. Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Calgary and surrounding areas, and an hour later, that watch was upgraded to a warning.

Officials said dangerous weather could be approaching Calgary and possibly produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall and large hail.

Click to play video 'Tornado warning issued as storms roll through Calgary Thursday' Tornado warning issued as storms roll through Calgary Thursday
Tornado warning issued as storms roll through Calgary Thursday – Jul 23, 2020

“This thunderstorm is located near downtown Calgary and is heading east at 20 kilometres per hour,” Environment Canada said.

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At 4:11 p.m. Environment Canada also issued a tornado watch for several communities east of Calgary, including Newell County, the M.D. of Taber and Vulcan County.

“Conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms which may produce tornadoes in areas near the Trans-Canada Highway and north,” the weather agency said Thursday afternoon.

Calgarians capture frightening images of weather

An eyewitness reported a possible tornado near Springbank at 2:30 p.m., headed east at 15 km/h, Environment Canada said. About half an hour later, the weather agency said several eyewitnesses reported a possible tornado in west Calgary near the Trans-Canada Highway.

Click to play video 'Twitter video shows possible funnel cloud in Calgary' Twitter video shows possible funnel cloud in Calgary
Twitter video shows possible funnel cloud in Calgary – Jul 23, 2020

In the city’s northwest, one resident captured images of large hail hitting Calgary streets.

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Heavy rainfall also struck parts of the city, with some taking cover under an overpass on Crowchild Trail.

One police officer responded to the image, noting that doing so was “dangerous and selfish behaviour.”

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Tornado warnings are issued when imminent or occurring thunderstorms are likely to produce or are producing tornadoes.

Environment Canada cautions to take cover immediately, if threatening weather approaches. If you hear a roaring sound or see a funnel cloud, swirling debris near the ground, flying debris, or any threatening weather approaching, take shelter immediately.

Environment Canada says if a tornado is in your area, to go indoors to a room on the lowest floor, away from outside walls and windows, such as a basement, bathroom, stairwell or interior closet.

Click to play video 'Calgary sees hail, tornado warning as storms roll through' Calgary sees hail, tornado warning as storms roll through
Calgary sees hail, tornado warning as storms roll through – Jul 23, 2020

Leave mobile homes, vehicles, tents, trailers and other temporary or free-standing shelter, and move to a strong building if you can. As a last resort, lie in a low spot and protect your head from flying debris.

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More to come…