Thunderstorm watch in effect for parts of Manitoba as May long weekend arrives

Virtually all of southern Manitoba, from the Lake Winnipegosis area in the northwest to the province’s southeast corner, was under alerts for severe thunderstorms at various times on Friday night.

The province’s Hydrologic Forecast Centre is warning Manitobans to take precautions and be ready for wet weather, as parts of the province could get between 20 and 40 millimetres of precipitation in the next three days, a Friday news release said.

The heaviest precipitation is likely to fall in parts of southwest Manitoba, the Interlake region and northern Manitoba, where thunderstorms could bring heavy rain in short period, potentially leading to high surface runoff and overland flooding, the province said.

As of just 9:42 p.m. Friday, the following areas, covering the southeast corner of the province, remained under thunderstorm watch from Envrionment Canada:

  • Dugald, Beausejour, Grand Beach.
  • Sprague, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest.
  • Whiteshell, Lac du Bonnet, Pinawa.
  • Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Emerson, Vita, Richer.

Environment Canada said conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms that could bring strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain, with the possibility of an isolated tornado.

The thunderstorms are expected to push east through Friday evening.

The province also warns visibility may be suddenly reduced in heavy precipitation and roads may be slippery. It encourages anyone with travel plans over the long weekend to watch the weather and adjust driving habits for road conditions, travelling only when necessary or waiting until road conditions are safe to do so.

The province also says that since power outages can occur during severe storms, Manitobans are encouraged to prepare basic emergency kits with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.