Saskatoon

Wild weather rips across southern part of province Saturday

It was a wild and stormy Saturday night across much of southern Saskatchewan.

Severe weather could develop again Sunday over much of Saskatchewan

Lightning can be seen over Regina Saturday night. (@JennHoutby/Twitter)

The small hamlet of Mistusinne along Lake Diefenbaker had just finished a golf tournament and potluck supper when the hail came Saturday evening.

"It was severe, ferocious. I've been living out here since 1982 and this is our third good-sized hailstorm," said Mistusinne resident Bruce Dorward. "This was the absolute worst."

Dorward took a video of the intense storm that only lasted five to 10 minutes, but did major damage in that time.

"I don't know how many windshields and windows and sunroofs there were in the village this weekend, but there are very few that escaped damage."

Dorward said his new Ford F150 took a direct hit.

"There is so much damage to it," he said. "The sunroof is broken. The windshield looks like it was hit with a load of buckshot. It is completely shattered everywhere."

Tennis ball-sized hail rocked the Mistusinne area on Saturday 0:46

He said the siding at the back of his garage is damaged and his roof will need to be re-shingled.

"It was just a very, very loud, frightening kind of storm. Just a good old prairie thunder," he said, adding, "The whole village is covered in tree leaves and limbs. Big old cottonwood poplars. They are just shredded."

It was wild and stormy in many other parts of southern Saskatchewan, too. 

Environment Canada meteorologist Blaine Lowry said there was a confirmed tornado that touched down northwest of Northgate, Sask., Saturday afternoon.

Northgate is located 55 km east of Estevan in southeast Saskatchewan.

Severe thunderstorms developed across much of southern Saskatchewan during Saturday afternoon and lasted through the night. 

There were high winds in Saskatoon, torrential rain in Fort Qu'Appelle and the Country Thunder Music Festival had to cancel headliner Tim McGraw and his band after a storm blew through the area Saturday night.

Heavy rain, lightning and strong winds kicked up tents and rocked trailers at the Craven grounds.

Nasty hail storms hit Lake Diefenbaker and elsewhere.

"The largest we've had so far is slightly less than tennis-ball size, which is about six centimetres in diameter," Lowry said. "That was at Mistusinne in the Lake Diefenbaker area."

Saskatchewan Parks, Culture and Sports spokesperson Brooke Lochbaum said there was some damage to trees and to campers at Douglas Provincial Park campground, but there was no damage to the park infrastructure.

She said they refunded some campers who chose to leave that night, but the campsite remains open.

Lochbaum said crews are cleaning up and it should be back to normal within a week.

Hail was also reported at Moose Creek Regional Park, Alida, Frobisher, Coleville, Hitchcock Bay, Chamberlain, Findlater and just south of Indian Head.

Lowry advised people to keep checking weather alerts, as all of southern Saskatchewan is under a similar threat on Sunday.