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Severe thunderstorm watches in effect for much of western, central Manitoba

A large swath of western and central Manitoba is under an Environment Canada severe thunderstorm watch, which it says will move eastward through the evening and overnight. Global News

Environment Canada is warning people to be on the lookout for severe thunderstorms.

As of late Saturday afternoon, severe thunderstorm watches were in effect for the following areas.

  • Arborg – Hecla – Fisher River – Gypsumville – Ashern
  • Brandon – Victoria Beach – Nopiming Prov. Park – Pine Falls
  • Dauphin – Russell – Roblin – Winnipegosis
  • Killarney – Pilot Mound – Manitou
  • Minnedosa – Riding Mountain National Park
  • Morden – Winkler – Altona – Morris
  • Portage la Prairie – Headingley – Brunkild – Carman
  • Selkirk – Gimli – Stonewall – Woodlands
  • Ste. Rose – McCreary – Alonsa – Gladstone

A trough of low pressure over western Manitoba is expected to bring scattered thunderstorms late in the afternoon or early evening, according to Environment Canada, and some may reach “severe limits.”

It says large hail, damaging winds, and torrential rain are all possible.

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Thunderstorm coverage is expected to increase over the Red River Valley and eastern Manitoba late into the evening and overnight.

Environment Canada says it’s likely the watch will expand eastwards.

“We’re expecting hail size in excess of a nickel, wind gusts stronger than 90 kilometers an hour, and then possibility of some rain over 50 milimeters in an hour, although that’s a little bit less likely than the severe gusts and hail,” says Sara Hoffman, with Environment Canada.

“Lightning is not something we warn for, but lightning is a part of thunderstorms we need to take incredibly seriously, it kills 10 people in Canada each year.

“So when you can hear thunder you are within striking distance of lightning and it’s time to get inside a vehicle or into a well-constructed house.”

Severe thunderstorms are also known to produce tornadoes, however, Hoffman says that’s not the main threat with these storms.

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