Airdrie hail storm likely caused 'gustnado' in Calgary, officials say

Environment Canada says a "gustnado" touched down Thursday afternoon in Calgary.

Environment Canada says incident was not a tornado but rather a spout from an Airdrie storm

Golf ball-sized hail struck suddenly in Airdrie, north of Calgary, Thursday afternoon. (@erind11/Twitter)

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a — "gustnado?"

While police say they did receive several reports of a tornado touching down east of Métis Trail and north of Stoney Trail, Environment Canada says the incident was rather a gustnado, or spout from a nearby storm system battering Airdrie.

The weather agency says the storm system was not over Calgary at the time of the incident and the spiral winds likely came from the nearby storm.

Det. Dale Seddon with the Calgary Police Service says the incident didn't cause any damage and hit a grassy area.

Airdrie pounded

However, much of Airdrie did see golf ball-sized hail pelting homes and vehicles late Thursday afternoon.

Airdrie RCMP said they responded to 24 calls for service between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. MT ranging from alarms to motor vehicle collisions.

"One collision on Yankee Valley involved five vehicles, and required Airdrie Fire Services to extricate a vehicle occupant. There were no injuries," RCMP said in a release.

Sean Bryan said he’s never seen anything like it.

“My siding is — it's gone on one side where it was coming from. It's all shattered and my car was outside —  it's all dented to heck.”

The hail broke Jenell Martin's front window.

"The sky just opened up and I thought the skylight was going to come down and it was like a freight train. It sounded like a freight train was coming," she said. 

Environment Canada said the Standard area 90 kilometres east of Calgary was pelted with tennis-ball sized hail.

Have a photo of the storm? Send it to or tweet us @CBCCalgary

Golf ball-sized hail in Airdrie has caused damage to some vehicles and properties in the area. (Submitted by Sarah Buist)
A rainbow appears over the Woodside Golf Course in Airdrie after a hail storm Thursday. (Brandon Klayman)
Hail in Airdrie, north of Calgary, has caused lots of dents in cars and cracks in siding. (Submitted by Patrick Jessup)
The hail shredded these patio chairs. (Wanda Johnson)