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'Unstable across the prairies': First severe weather storm of the season hits Manitoba

Storm clouds over Duck Mountain near Ethelbert. (May 10, 2023. Source: Bonnie Derhak Semeniuk) Storm clouds over Duck Mountain near Ethelbert. (May 10, 2023. Source: Bonnie Derhak Semeniuk)

Tornado warnings, severe thunderstorm warnings and hail have been scattered throughout Manitoba Wednesday.

Western Manitoba saw three different tornado warnings from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Wednesday afternoon starting in the R.M. of Ellice-Archie, including St-Lazare, McAuley and Manson. It was followed by the Prairie View Municipality, which included Birdtail Sioux Reserve.

The last warning happened at 4:45 p.m. for the R.M. of Oakview, which included Oak River and Rapid City.

Robyn Dyck, a meteorologist with ECCC, said there was no tornado touchdown or damage during those warnings, but she noted one funnel cloud was spotted in Saskatchewan.

Although there were no tornados, she said severe thunderstorm warnings brought strong wind, hail and rain to parts of Manitoba, including in Winnipeg.

"The largest (hail) we had reports of was about one and half (inch) hail size and that was in McGregor, Man. Even the Winnipeg Airport here, they reported about an inch in size."

Roughly ping pong size hail found in McGregor, Man. (May 10, 2023. Source: Violet Wilson)

Hail seen in the Parkland area of Manitoba. It came after severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in western Manitoba. (May 10, 2023. Source: Brock Birss)

Dyck said there is a second round of storms are moving through the province Wednesday evening that is bringing more rain and hail. The system will eventually make its way into Ontario.

"This is sort of the last day in the last few days that have been unstable across the prairies. We had an upper level disturbance that's been slowly tracking across the southern prairies," she said. "So as of tomorrow, it looks like kind of a recovery day in terms of maybe a mix of sun and cloud, warm but not too warm."

Living in the prairies, Dyck said people should expect these kind of storms and weather systems sporadically until at least August.

She also noted this is the first severe weather system of the spring and is reminding people to be aware and stay inside if they see severe weather.

"Also remembering the difference between a watch and a warning. This is the first active day of the season, so remembering that a watch is there is a potential, the ingredients are there. Like, you know, you're making a recipe, all the ingredients are there for making cupcakes. Ingredients haven't been mixed together yet. The warning means that it's happening. So that means all the ingredients have been put together and now we have a cupcake."

A lightning strike going across the sky in Manitoba. (May 10, 2023. Source: Ross Kaulfuss)

Hail scattered across the ground in River Heights in Winnipeg. (May 10, 2023. Source: Chris Orbanski)

She said with the first major storm of the season, people should be more aware than normal.

Manitoba Hydro also posted on Twitter Wednesday evening saying there are a number of outages that were likely caused by the weather. Top Stories

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