Possible funnel clouds prompt special weather statement for Grande Prairie, surrounding area
Published Wednesday, July 8, 2020 1:50PM MDT
EDMONTON -- Funnel clouds could develop in the Grande Prairie and Peace River regions Wednesday, according to a special weather statement from Environment Canada.
The weather agency says conditions will be favourable for funnel clouds, which are "generated by weak rotation under rapidly growing clouds or weak thunderstorms."
If anyone sees a funnel cloud develop the should be prepared to take shelter, Environment Canada says.
“This type of situation, we’re in this kind of cool air mass," said meteorologist Dan Kulak. "A low-pressure system has given us a bunch of rain here in the last few days. It gave us severe storms in southwestern Saskatchewan last night."
Kulak said that while funnel clouds won’t normally reach the ground, they may still draw people’s attention.
“They get a lot of people noticing them. We have a lot of pictures coming in,” he said. “Funnel clouds in this scenario very rarely touch down and they very rarely have the ability to cause any damage.”
A funnel cloud touched down in Brooks, Alta. on Tuesday night shortly after 8 p.m., creating a tornado. There were no reports of damage.
“In general, not dangerous. There’s always exceptions,” Kulak said. “It’s an awareness thing most of all. I think to have these weather advisories for funnel clouds, to let people know that it’s not a severe weather day, but you’re more likely to see these things than on another day.”
Lightning kills more people in Canada per year than rainstorms, hail, wind or tornados, he said.
The statements are in effect for the Grande Prairie-Beaverlodge-Valleyview region and the Peace River-Fairview-High Prairie-Manning region.