Waterspout touches down in southwestern Manitoba

Waterspout touches down in southwestern Manitoba

There are no reports of damage or injuries after a waterspout touched down on a lake in southwestern Manitoba Sunday afternoon.

The waterspout — a tornado that lands on a body of water instead of the ground — touched down on Lake of the Prairies, just south of Roblin, Man. around 3:45 p.m.

Hayleigh Langan, 14, was working at the store at Pyott’s West Campground, about 335 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, when she saw the swirling funnel on the lake next to the campground.

She quickly picked up her phone and shot a video.

Hayleigh Langan of Dropmore, Man. grabbed this video while at work at Pyott’s West Campground in western Manitoba. 1:07

“It was just kind of like spiralling through,” she said.

“It wasn’t anything super scary… It didn’t look like it was coming towards us, it looked like it was kind of fading off in the opposite direction of us, so I wasn’t very afraid.

It hit the edge of the lake on the opposite side, lifted up and nothing happened.”

Langan says she saw the waterspout for about a minute.

She has since sent the video to Environment Canada, which has confirmed to CBC News that it was a waterspout.

‘Seek shelter’

Environment Canada meteorologist Heather Pimiskern says the national weather service received a number of video and eyewitness reports about the waterspout.

She says it started on land before moving onto the lake.

“You can clearly see that the water is being picked up by the tornado and it is being swirled around,” she said of Langan’s video.

“So it is in direct contact with the surface and that is what we define a tornado as being, and in this case it’s being classified as a waterspout.”

Pimiskern says the waterspout formed during a frontal wave that brought storms to the region Sunday afternoon.

Because waterspouts can move between water and land, Pimiskern says they can be just as dangerous as a tornado that touches down on the ground.

“If one is approaching your area the best thing you can do is seek shelter,” she said.

“If you are outside, or at a campground, the best thing is to find a sturdy structure — like a bathroom that is surrounded in a concrete exterior — and seek shelter in there.”

Environment Canada asks anyone who saw the waterspout or has photos or video to call them at 1-800-239-0484.

Published at Sun, 22 Jul 2018 22:31:53 -0400