Possible tornado under investigation in Manitoba community

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Environment Canada and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) are investigating a possible tornado in Binscarth, Manitoba. Thursday night.

The weather agency said it doesn’t yet have enough evidence to confirm the tornado, but meteorologists are investigating and looking for photos of the suspected tornado or any damage it may have caused.

This news comes after a severe thunderstorm battered Manitoba on Thursday night and Friday morning. Meanwhile, the storm brought large hail to several communities.

According to Environment Canada, Binscarth and Rossburn received baseball-sized hailstones, which in some cases shattered windows and damaged passing sidings.

Those in Oakburn were hit by hail ranging in size from golf balls to tennis balls, while Plumas and Clear Lake received hail the size of a dollar.

Environment Canada reported that Sandy Lake received quarter-sized hail and Waywayseecappo received nickel-sized hail.

In addition to hail, the storm also brought strong winds that reached over 100 km/h in some communities.

According to Environment Canada, Pilot Mound received winds as strong as 104 km/h, while in Russell and Clearwater they reached 91 km/h. Manitou also experienced strong winds reaching 89 km/h.

Those with information about the potential Binscarth tornado or any severe weather event are asked to call 1-800-239-0484, email [email protected] or tweet with the hashtag #mbstorm.

“HE CAME STRAIGHT ON US”

Darcy Kowalchuk was at home in Binscarth when ECCC issued a tornado warning for the community. Weather radar appeared to show the storm heading north of Binscarth, so Kowalchuk got out to see what was brewing.

That’s when he spotted what looked like a cloud of super cells.

“The giant cell seemed to stop, then it made a little turn, and it came right at us. You could see it developing its structure over time,” he recalls.

As he approached, he said the wind quickly changed direction and the temperature changed.

“We prepared to go to the basement,” he said.

Kowalchuk watched the storm pass from the basement window, initially thinking he would miss them.

“Then the hail was out the back,” he said, estimating golf ball or baseball-sized hail fell for nearly five minutes.

Golf ball sized hail is pictured in Binscarth, Manitoba following a storm on June 23, 2022. (Twitter Photo: Darcy Kowalchuk @DarcyKowalchuk)

The hail tore large holes in the siding on the north side of his house, and destroyed a plastic skylight and an RV window.

A second thunderstorm later that night, bringing heavy rain, wind and lightning, didn’t help matters either.

Kowalchuk said it was the region’s second storm in five days. He filmed them and others over the years and shared them on social media.

“Somebody called me a storm chaser and I said, ‘well, that’s not okay because I filmed three weather events from my patio.’ It’s not like I’m chasing them. They’re chasing me,” he laughed.

– With files from CTV’s Tim Salzen.


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