Troy Weppler was at his friend’s house in Swift Current on Saturday evening when he noticed the clouds starting to get darker.
He went outside to close his truck’s windows and then the next thing he knew he was watching golf ball-sized hail fall from the skies. Weppler said he thinks he’s never seen hail fall for as long as it did on Saturday.
“It lasted probably a good 15 to 20 minutes where it was starting to pile up like snow drifts around the house,” Weppler said.
“It kind of looked more like a snowstorm than a summertime thunderstorm.”
My cousin Troy just sent me this video of the crazy storm that hit Swift Current. Yikes! <a href=” <a href=” <a href=” <a href=”https://t.co/Y01SPgPwLi”>pic.twitter.com/Y01SPgPwLi</a>
Weppler says the temperatures dropped from about 34 degrees Celsius to 14 degrees during the hail storm.
He added the hail gradually got bigger and more intense.
“It just came down so fast and it had nowhere to go, so I think there might actually be some damage in Swift Current when this is all said and done,” Weppler said.
Weppler says the hail was a little more slushy than usual, which likely saved some vehicles in Swift Current, but it had the size to cause damage.
Once the hail subsided, the alarming weather wasn’t over for the day. The same single storm prompted several tornado warnings in parts of southwestern Saskatchewan on Saturday evening.
“As soon as the storm was over, all of a sudden we got tornado warnings coming across our phone,” Weppler said. “I knew that the storm had already passed on by then but it was a little unnerving to hear everyones’ phones go off in unison, you know something’s going on.”
No reports of tornado
Dave Carlsen, an Environment and Climate Change Canada Meteorologist, says there were no reports of a tornado in Saskatchewan on Saturday despite warnings lasting over the span of three to four hours.
“It did show signatures consistent with the tornado potential, so there may have been a tornado in the storm there may not have been,” Carlsen said. “But either way it was a pretty serious storm and we certainly had our full attention on it last night.”
Carlson says it isn’t common to have tornado warnings last as long as they did on Saturday, but hail tends to fall in parts of Saskatchewan a few times a summer.
He confirmed there was golf ball-sized hail falling in Switch Current before the storm began tracking southeastward toward Montana bringing loonie to golf ball-sized hail along the way. He added wind gusts at around 83 kilometres per hour were reported.
Swift Current, Saskatchewan about a half hour ago <a href=”https://t.co/btiGamrtb9″>pic.twitter.com/btiGamrtb9</a>
“There is one report of some grain bins tossed south of Glenbain, we’re not sure if that was straight line winds or tornado winds.”
Potential for more severe storms Sunday
Carlsen says there is another chance of severe thunderstorms in parts of Saskatchewan on Sunday.
“The main potential really goes from Kindersly to Regina down to the southeast, but Saskatoon may see some severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds,” Carlsen said.
“In Saskatoon the size of the hail would maybe be a little bit reduced, maybe up to loonie-size hail and winds up to 90 kilometres per hour, where farther south it would maybe up to golf balls and 100 to 110 kilometres per hour with the winds.”
Carlsen says the threat of severe weather isn’t greater on Sunday, but there is a larger area of the province that could be affected.
He added that areas in the southwestern corner of the province like Swift Current that saw severe thunderstorms on Saturday will likely not see the same severe weather on Sunday.