Saskatchewan

'Nerve-racking': Sask. storm chaser snaps photos of tornado near Ituna

As an amateur storm chaser, Kyle Rathgeber travels throughout the province to see tornadoes form. He didn't have to go very far to see one on Tuesday.

Tornado touched down around 3:00 p.m. CST Tuesday

A tornado touches down in a field northeast of Ituna, Sask., on Tuesday. (Kyle Rathgeber)

As an amateur storm chaser, Kyle Rathgeber travels to see tornadoes form. He didn't have to go very far to see one on Tuesday afternoon. 

Rathgeber was on his property near Ituna, Sask., about 115 kilometres northeast of Regina, when he noticed the weather getting nasty. He drove about two-and-a-half kilometres before seeing a tornado develop from a thunderstorm.

"There was a lot of low level cloud," said Rathgeber. "Then all of a sudden they were doing the counter-clockwise motion they normally do and you could see the funnel actually coming straight down."

As the twister passed, he was able to take photos and upload them to social media.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said this storm, which produced a tornado near Ituna, Sask., on Tuesday, formed from high moisture levels interacting with a trough of low pressure. (Kyle Rathgeber)

Even though Rathgeber has seen a tornado once before, he admitted this experience was a bit scary.

"I do enjoy watching them," he said. "I do love the storms, but when it's really close to your own area, it's kind of a little bit nerve-racking."

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) confirmed that a tornado touched down happened around 3:00 p.m. CST Tuesday. The twister has been given a preliminary rating of EF-0. No damage or injuries were reported.

ECCC warning preparedness meteorologist Natalie Hasell told CBC conditions were favourable for thunderstorm and tornado development Tuesday afternoon, as moisture in the environment interacted with a trough of low pressure near the region.

"The wind profile was just right for thunderstorms along that trough to produce tornadoes," Hasell said.

Hasell noted the system has moved out of the province, leaving clearer and cooler conditions behind it.

She encouraged anyone else who may have seen the tornado to send photos or make a report to ECCC by emailing skstorm@canada.ca, or calling 1-800-239-0484.

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