A Manitoba family says earlier warnings are needed to help alert residents about possible severe weather after a tornado touched down in southern Manitoba on Tuesday.

A tornado was sighted about 20 kilometres east of Carman shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Witnesses told CTV News the twister moved along for a couple of minutes before it retreated.

A notice about possible tornados was issued by weather officials just minutes before the twister touched down east of Carman.

"I guess for smaller towns, it would be really nice to have some kind of warnings going on," said Anna Doell.

Her family says it had no warning that a tornado was nearby.

Doell's 10-year-old son spotted the tornado Tuesday and told her about it. Doell ran outside to warn her husband and younger son.

The province says it's working on improving Manitoba's weather warning system.

By the end of the year, the province will have a total of 15 weather radio transmitters set up around Manitoba. That means weather radios can pick up coverage almost anywhere.

"At least you know that there's severe weather in the area and it forewarns you," says Chuck Sanderson, the province's executive director of the Emergency Measures Organization.

The EMO says the weather radios can be programmed to a specific area to let people know if a severe storm is nearby them. Weather radios can be purchased at outdoor and camping supplies stores and cost about $45 to $60 dollars, says Sanderson.

- with a report from CTV's Rachel Lagacé

- for a look at photos of Tuesday's storm and tornado, please go to our gallery