Officials have confirmed Thursday afternoon's severe storm that pelted rural areas between Calgary and Lethbridge with hail and hard rain included a tornado.

Funnel clouds were witnessed shortly after 5 p.m. in an area several kilometres east of the village of Carmangay, in Vulcan County, and a survey of the damage led officials to confirm a tornado did touch down.

The tornado had an estimated wind speed of between 135 km/h and 175 km/h and a preliminary rating placed it as an EF1 (minor/moderate damage) on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

According to Environment Canada, the tornado touched down at approximately 5:20 p.m. at a location 17 kilometres east of Carmangay. The tornado destroyed a shop building, tossed a bale stacker roughly 200 metres and lodged a large three branch into the exterior wall of a home.

The storm included wind gusts of up to 104 kilometres per hour and hail as large as walnut sized (3.5 cm) was reported east of Carmangay.