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Tornado watches end, thunderstorms moving on

» 'Weak' funnel clouds spotted in Saskatchewan

Lightning strikes just south of the Trans-Canada Highway, beside Grand Valley Provincial Park, during a thunderstorm last year.

MARK FLETCHER/FOR THE SUN Enlarge Image

Lightning strikes just south of the Trans-Canada Highway, beside Grand Valley Provincial Park, during a thunderstorm last year.

Despite a few weak tornados spotted across the border in eastern Saskatchewan, Manitoba escaped with just some severe thunderstorms. Winnipeg, in particular, was hammered with a brief hailstorm, and Brandon had a few cracks of thunder with a rainstorm shortly after 5 p.m. Monday.

Earlier in the day, Environment Canada issued a swath of severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches for man areas of Manitoba north and east of Brandon.

Meteorologists tracked a line of severe thunderstorms coming in from Saskatchewan that produced some hail, strong winds and heavy downpours during the afternoon. The area of severe thunderstorms extended from the west shore of Lake Manitoba up through east of the Riding Mountains and up towards the Duck Mountains.

Most of those weather warnings have now been downgraded or cleared.

A warning is issued when the type of weather is occurring or is imminent. A watch, on the other hand, means that the potential exists, but it is not yet certain to happen.

At this point, the Brandon forecast calls for clearing skies this evening as the city heads to a low of 8 C. Tuesday should be sunny and 23 C.

Funnel clouds, including at least one tornado that touched the ground, were spotted near Saltcoats, Sask. late Monday morning. Photographs of the twister from several angles made the rounds on Twitter. The community of Saltcoats is located on Highway about midway between the Manitoba border and Yorkton.

According to at least one experienced tornado chaser, however, the funnel clouds associated with this system were "cold core" funnels that are not much to worry about.

"These are weak vortices that spin out of smaller clouds and have a wind speed around 100 km/h; they don't even come out of thunderstorms, much less supercells," said one former Brandon resident who is currently chasing storms in Kansas. "Calling these tornadoes is like comparing a McDonald's cheeseburger to a Five Guys one."

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