British Columbia

Rare tornado watch briefly issued for Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound

Environment Canada briefly issued a tornado warning for Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound on Saturday evening.

A waterspout was spotted near Vancouver International Airport Saturday evening

The waterspout spotted west of Vancouver International Airport on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (Craig F. McCaw)

Environment Canada briefly issued a rare tornado watch for Metro Vancouver and Howe Sound on Saturday evening. 

"A waterspout was spotted west of Vancouver International Airport and is moving north toward West Vancouver and the mouth of Howe Sound including Bowen Island," Environment and Climate Change Canada said in the warning.

Several people recorded videos of the waterspout, a tornado that forms above water, and posted them to social media. 

Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sekhon said unstable weather and spin in the atmosphere was behind the rare weather conditions on Saturday.

"It's not that frequent, but waterspouts do occur, tornados over land are a lot more rare."

The initial bulletin said "current indications are that it is weakening but the atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of waterspouts or weak funnel clouds over the next few hours."

The tornado watch has now ended for Metro Vancouver. 

According to Environment Canada, in the event of a tornado people should go indoors immediately, to a room on the lowest floor away from walls and windows.

A special weather statement remains in place for parts of B.C.'s South Coast.

It says there is potential for strong winds Monday overnight and into Tuesday evening.

With files from Isabelle Raghem

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