Saskatchewan

Hail storms follow scorching heat that shattered weather records across the province

Eleven warm weather records were broken on Saturday, Environment Canada reports.

'All of a sudden these big hailstones started falling out of the sky': storm chaser

Thomas Frick, a storm chaser in Luseland, Sask., shows the egg-sized hail stones that dented his truck. (Thomas Frick)

Extreme heat blasted parts of southern Saskatchewan on Saturday. That was followed up on Sunday by damaging hail storms.

After a very cool and soggy spring season Saskatchewan got a taste of summer only days from the solstice.

"Temperatures are in the low to mid-30s [C] over the southern portion of the province, and then combined with a little bit of humidity, it has made for a pretty hot day in the south," Environment and Climate Change Canada Meteorologist Danielle Desjardins said. 

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) says 11 warm weather records were broken on Saturday.

Moose Jaw was the warmest reaching 35.9 C, breaking the previous record set in 1986 of 33.9 degrees. Regina wasn't too far off with a record temperature of 35.1 C, eclipsing the record from 1988 of  33.2 degrees.

In Assinboia the mercury rose to 34.6 C, squeaking past the 34.5 C set in 1986.

Unlike this time last year when the heat dome started approaching the province, this blast of heat didn't last.

"Luckily, it's kind of a one-day heat event over the south," Desjardins said.

The heat wasn't the only concern.

"A severe thunderstorm went through the province this morning. We did receive reports of golf ball- and even an egg-sized hail," Desjardins said.

A band of severe thunderstorms that developed in Alberta began passing through the province,bringing heavy rain and reports of hail.

"The storm passed through Unity, Kindersley, the northwest region and into Meadow Lake," Desjardins said.

Thomas Frick, a storm chaser in Luseland, Sask., says he was tracking the storms in the morning and decided to jump in his truck for a mini-storm chase between Salvador and Denzil.

"All of a sudden these big hailstones started falling out of the sky — about golf ball- and hen egg-sized hail," Frick said.

'The hail dented the top of my vehicle, it was really loud," Frick said. (Thomas Frick)

Frick says he immediately pulled over and stayed in his truck til the storm passed. 

"It was a really loud noise," he said.

Frick says the hail did leave a dent on the hood of his truck but hasn't decided whether he will file an insurance claim. 

"I might keep that mark, maybe just for a story," Frick said. "I heard some vehicles in Cactus Lake and Denzil got damaged. I heard that people's windows got smashed out in the area." 

Other chasers were pelted with even bigger hail. Tennis ball-sized with spikes, sometimes referred to as "zombie hail," was reported in Reward.

Desjardins says they haven't received any reports of damage but encourage people to share information with them.

Desjardins says the storms moved north in the afternoon and continued into the evening. 

According to data from ECCC, areas such as La Ronge got 11.4 mm of rain, Buffalo Narrows got 13.9 mm and Key Lake with 8.8 mm  Saturday.

Desjardins says the focus for Sunday will be the southeast corner, with severe weather expected.

As for Frick and his next storm chase, "I always get excited when that kind of stuff happens."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Fiona Odlum

CBC Staffer

Fiona is a contributor at CBC Saskatchewan. She is from Winnipeg and that is where she started her broadcasting career more than 15 years ago. Fiona has done everything from traffic reporting in a helicopter, to breaking news, to anchoring and hosting talk radio across the country, to telling weather stories.

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