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Funnel clouds spotted near Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG - If you think you’ve seen a funnel cloud in the sky today, you’re probably right. Environment Canada has confirmed that funnel clouds were seen dropping from the sky over Charleswood and south of the city early Friday afternoon.

But Environment Canada meteorologist Sandy Massey said there were no reports that any of the funnel clouds had touched the ground. Until a funnel cloud touches the ground it can’t be called a tornado.

"There are weather watches out across most of southern Manitoba," she said. "We expect, like yesterday, that they will be over in another couple of hours (by about 5 p.m.)."

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the City of Winnipeg this afternoon. The alert is for the potential development of severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds. Rain showers are expected this afternoon and into the evening.

Thunderstorm warnings were also issued for the RM of Lakeview, including Langruth and Lakeland, the RM of Westbourne, including Gladstone and Plumas, and the RM of Lansdown, including Arden and Tenby.

What to do if a tornado strikes

  • Take shelter immediately, if available, preferably in the lower level of a sturdy building. Stay away from windows, doors and exterior walls.
  • In a house, go to the basement and take shelter under a stairway or a sturdy work table in the center of the house.
  • In a house with no basement, the safest spot is the ground floor in the center of the house. Small rooms tend to be more structurally sound so seek shelter in a hallway, small room, closet or bathroom (the plumbing may provide some structural stability). Lying in the bathtub with a mattress on top of you may provide good protection.
  • Avoid wide-span buildings, such as barns, auditoriums, shopping centres and supermarkets with large roofs.
  • At school, seek shelter in small windowless rooms such as a washroom instead of a gymnasium.
  • In high rise buildings, move to lower levels, small interior rooms or stairwells. Stay away from elevators and windows.
  • If no shelter is available, lie flat in a ditch, ravine or other low-lying area, and shield your head with your arms.
  • Don't get caught in a vehicle or mobile home, which the tornado can lift. Take shelter elsewhere or, if none is available, even a ditch offers better protection. Choose a location where your vehicle won't be hurled or rolled on top of you.
  • Beware of flying debris. Even small objects such as sticks and straw can become lethal missiles.

Source: Environment Canada

History

Updated on Friday, June 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM CDT: updated information

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