Southwestern Manitoba under tornado watch, severe thunderstorm warnings as heat intensifies

Parts of southwestern Manitoba are on the lookout for potential tornadoes and severe thunderstorm warnings are in effect as the south is under a heat warning on Sunday, Environment Canada says.

On Sunday afternoon, Environment Canada put out a tornado watch for areas surrounding Dauphin and Riding Mountain National Park. It later added severe thunderstorm warnings for Minnedosa and Riding Mountain National Park, as well as the Dauphin-Russell-Roblin-Winnipegosis regions and the area of Swan River-Duck Mountain-Porcupine Provincial Forest.

Severe thunderstorms are forecast to form in an unstable air mass over the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border in the afternoon, some of which have the potential to produce tornadoes.

Strong gusts of wind, heavy rain and large hail will accompany any severe thunderstorms.

The tornado watch covers the following areas:

  • Dauphin, Russell, Roblin and Winnipegosis.
  • Melita, Boissevain and Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.
  • Minnedosa and Riding Mountain National Park.
  • Swan River, Duck Mountain and Porcupine Provincial Forest.
  • Virden and Souris.

To the south and west, a heat warning is in place where temperatures will rise to the mid-30s C, feeling much hotter throughout the day with the humidity.

Along with the heat, very humid conditions will develop for many areas, where humidex values will hover between 40 to 45, Environment Canada said in a heat warning.

The extreme heat expected in southern Manitoba on Sunday can put people and pets at risk. (Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press)

In Winnipeg, where the Manitoba Marathon took place on Sunday, humidex values will likely climb into the 35 to 40 range by 10 a.m. and could feel as hot as 40 C by noon.

The heat prompted organizers to cancel the event an hour into the race.

The sweltering air mass will stay in place into Monday. Overnight on Sunday, lows will be in the lower 20s, and daytime highs the next day will be back into the 30s.

Areas in southwest Manitoba will ease slightly into the high 20s by the afternoon.

The weather warning covers the following areas:

  • Bissett, Victoria Beach, Nopiming Provincial Park and Pine Falls.
  • Brandon, Neepawa, Carberry and Treherne.
  • City of Winnipeg.
  • Dugald, Beausejour and Grand Beach.
  • Killarney, Pilot Mound and Manitou.
  • Melita, Boissevain and Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.
  • Morden, Winkler, Altona and Morris.
  • Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild and Carman.
  • Selkirk, Gimli, Stonewall and Woodlands.
  • Sprague, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest.
  • Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Emerson, Vita and Richer.
  • Virden and Souris.
  • Whiteshell, Lac du Bonnet and Pinawa.

Environment Canada is warning people to take precautions to ensure they don’t fall victim to the negative health effects of extreme heat.

That means staying out of direct sunlight, drinking plenty of water and ensuring you spend time in cool places.

Sometimes, people can experience heat illness. The signs including swelling, rash, cramps, fainting and the worsening of some health conditions.

Watch for heat stroke, which can begin with headache, hot skin, dizziness or confusion, and take action immediately.

For more information on heat and your health, visit Manitoba Health’s website or Call Health Links at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257.

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