The Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) confirmed a tornado did in fact touch down in southeast Alberta last Monday. NTP is a group comprised of people from Western University and ImpactWX with an aim to better detect tornado occurrence throughout Canada, improve severe and extreme weather understanding and prediction, mitigate against harm to people and property, and investigate future implications due to climate change.
Environment and Climate Change Canada received multiple reports of funnel clouds and damage in two possible areas. Part of their investigation includes contacting area residents and people who may have been impacted by the weather.
One of those areas with reports of damage was near Enchant, Alta., a hamlet in the municipal district of Taber.
On Sunday, NTP said the tornado on June 6 near Enchant had damage assessed as an EF1 tornado, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 150 km/h. No injuries were reported though there was plenty of damage to nearby grain bins, a shed and a quonset.
NTP launched its assessment of the damage on June 10 with both drone and ground surveys being conducted. Less than a week later, it posted they confirmed the weather event along with the help of Environment Canada and Instant Weather.
The group stated further investigation of the event is pending along with a review of its satellite imagery.
Judy Dunsmore told Global News most of the damage on the family’s property about 10 kilometres east of Enchant was to farm buildings and corrals.
“It picked up a wooden grain bin and took it through gates and into a pen. It moved a steel bin off its floor and blew another one over,” Dunsmore said.
Enchant is about an hour northeast of Lethbridge and two hours southeast of Calgary.
The weather conditions for such an event were in place at the time.
“On Monday, we had enough instability and convergence across southern Alberta to support severe thunderstorms and funnel clouds,” Global Calgary chief meteorologist Tiffany Lizee said.
“There was certainly potential for a landspout tornado, but there wasn’t enough atmospheric uplift to produce supercells.”
Funnel clouds are rotating columns that extend from clouds, but don’t reach the ground. Tornadoes are funnels that interact with the ground, picking up dust or debris.
— With files from Jessika Guse, Global News