Most of southern Manitoba is under weather watches or warnings as a cold front moving through the region is expected to trigger severe thunderstorms — and possible tornadoes — in the afternoon.

A weather watch, issued by Environment Canada, is an alert to the potential development of severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds.

A warning is more serious and means severe thunderstorms are imminent or already occurring in those regions.

The areas under the warning are located just west of Winnipeg and include Brandon, Carberry, Treherne, Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, and Carman.

A cold front is colliding with a warm, humid air mass in place across the southern portion of the province, producing unstable weather and the possibility of tornadoes later in the afternoon.

"Environment Canada meteorologists are closely monitoring the situation and will upgrade to a tornado watch later this afternoon if the threat level increases," stated Environment Canada.

The threat of severe weather will end later in the evening as the cold front moves into Northwestern Ontario.