Tornado touches down northeast of Calgary

A tornado touched down northeast of Calgary on Sunday afternoon as a severe thunderstorm swept into central Alberta.

Tornado was seen south of Beiseker at 4:21 p.m., and was moving southeast at 20 km/h

A funnel cloud is pictured near Beiseker on Sunday afternoon. An alert was issued for the area after a tornado touched down south of the village at 4:21 p.m. (Submitted by Greg Stamp)

A tornado touched down northeast of Calgary on Sunday afternoon as a severe thunderstorm swept into central Alberta.

At 4:21 p.m., a tornado was spotted near 15 kilometres south of the village of Beiseker, an emergency alert cautioned, and was moving southeast at 20 km/h. The alert ended shortly before 5:15 p.m.

"This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation ... If you hear a roaring sound or see a funnel cloud, swirling debris near the ground, flying debris, or any threatening weather approaching, take shelter immediately," the warning read.

Eric Dykes, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said it's not unusual to see tornadoes developing in late May.

He said it was too early to comment on the tornado's speed or if any damage was caused.

"We do have confirmation [this tornado] was on the ground for about 10 minutes and that it did pass through primarily farmers' fields. There is video online of it that looks to be going over a lake as well, and still keeping its shape and form," he said.

The first tornado of the season in Alberta was spotted near Mossleigh earlier this week. It did not cause any damage.

Sunday's tornado warning was in effect for Rocky View County and Wheatland Country.

Funnel clouds had been spotted in the area earlier in the afternoon.

The tornado came as part of a developing low pressure system that was expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds, large hail and thunderstorms to central Alberta, Environment Canada said in a thunderstorm watch issued at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Warnings for the southwest corner of the province, near Crowsnest Pass and Cardston, cautioned of 100 km/h wind gusts, as did warnings for the Red Deer, Lloydminster and Edmonton areas.

Hail began to fall Sunday as a protest wrapped up in Fish Creek Park, where 100 people had gathered to speak out against anti-black racism and police violence, in solidarity with protests occurring across the U.S. and Canada.

Video posted to social media also showed flooding in the city's northwest.

The alerts come roughly 12 hours after an intense early-morning thunderstorm swept through the city, waking some and treating those who were still awake to a 3 a.m. light show.

An up-to-date list of weather warnings is available on the government's website.


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