Environment Canada confirms what it calls a “tornado outbreak” in rural Alberta earlier this week
It says between 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, nine twisters hopscotched between Calgary and Medicine Hat and another was spotted near Vermillion in eastern Alberta.
It says all have been given a preliminary rating of EF-0, the lowest rating on the scale, with wind speeds of 105 to 135 kilometres per hour.
Environment Canada says minor damage has been reported, including in the Iron Springs area where four touched down.
Two more were recorded near Enchant and the weather office confirms the others were counted in Lake Newall, Brooks, Cabin Lake and Vermillion.
The same storm that spawned the tornadoes also brought downpours to the area between Calgary and Edmonton on Wednesday and Thursday.
Red Deer received nearly 68 millimetres in a roughly 24-hour period.
Air quality statements now blanket much of Alberta and the eastern half of British Columbia as smoke due to numerous large wildfires wafts over the regions.
“People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke,” said the statement from Environment Canada.
It advised anyone experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, severe cough, dizziness or chest pains to stop outdoor activities and contact a care provider if they feel unwell.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2023.
The Canadian Press