Severe thunderstorm warnings for much of southern Manitoba after southwest pelted with hail

People in southwestern Manitoba are cleaning up again after a violent storm blew through the area Thursday night — the second in less than a week.

And Environment Canada says more severe weather could be on the way for much of southern Manitoba on Friday.

In Binscarth, large chunks of hail — some the size of baseballs, according to Environment Canada — smashed windows, and also damaged buildings and cars Thursday night.

“It was bouncing down the lawn like a driving range and impacting into the ground, and that was for a good five minutes,” said Darcy Kowalchuk, a teacher in the town, which is close to the Saskatchewan border.

“It blew out big holes in our siding on the north side of our house, and took out a window and skylights and a camper.”

A few hours after the hail storm passed, Kowalchuk said another storm came through, dumping rain. 

Environment Canada now says a swath of the province further east could see storms Friday.

The weather agency issued severe thunderstorm watches Friday afternoon for most of south-central and southeastern Manitoba, including Winnipeg and surrounding areas.

The warnings also extend to:

  • Bissett, Victoria Beach, Nopiming Provincial Park, Pine Falls.
  • Dugald, Beausejour, Grand Beach.
  • Killarney, Pilot Mound, Manitou. 
  • Morden, Winkler, Altona, Morris.
  • Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, Carman.
  • Selkirk, Gimli, Stonewall, Woodlands.
  • Sprague, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest.
  • Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Emerson, Vita, Richer.
  • Whiteshell, Lac du Bonnet, Pinawa.

Thursday’s storm in southwestern Manitoba also prompted Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning just before 9:30 p.m.

The Russell-Binscarth area was hit by a supercell thunderstorm, said meteorologist Kyle Fougère. 

“A supercell thunderstorm is different from a normal one in that it has a rotating updraft,” he said Friday. “When the updraft is rotating, then it has additional lift and it can support really large hail.”

The agency is investigating a possible tornado sighting in the area, but it has not been confirmed yet.

The area also saw winds of over 90 km/h, while Pilot Mound had winds of 104 km/h, Fougère said.

Other areas that experienced significant hail include Oakburn, Sandy Lake, Rossburn, and Shoal Lake.

Thursday’s storm came after Binscarth was hit by major storm last Sunday that brought extreme winds, ripping parts off of buildings and toppling power lines.