A large funnel cloud spotted in the Strait of Georgia near the Vancouver International Airport prompted Environment Canada to briefly issue a tornado watch for parts of the Lower Mainland.
The alert was issued around 5:30 p.m. and rescinded by shortly before 6 p.m.
However a special weather statement remained in effect for most of the South Coast, warning of strong winds between 50 and 70 km/h, and between 70 and 90 km/h in exposed coastal sections of Vancouver Island.
The short-lived initial alert had warned that “conditions are favourable for the development of funnel clouds and possibly brief, weak tornadoes,” adding, “This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation.”
Environment Canada said people should be prepared for severe weather and take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches.
In the event of a tornado, it said people should go immediately to an indoor room on the lowest floor, away from walls and windows.
People should leave any mobile homes, vehicles, tents, trailers or other free-standing shelter and move to a strong building if they can.
As a last resort, people can lie in a low spot and protect their head from flying debris.