Rural property damaged by southern Alberta storm that produced funnel cloud
Damage to a rural property in Vulcan County following Thursday afternoon's storm
Published Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:45PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:47PM MDT
Storm clouds carved a swath across southern Alberta, in an area between Calgary and Lethbridge, on Thursday and pelted the region with hail, hard rain, wind gusts and what may prove to have been a tornado.
Ryan Silsbe was on his parents' farm in Vulcan County, east of Carmangay, Thursday afternoon when his father noticed unusual activity in the sky.
"It was pretty windy all day. We were working in the shop and dad said 'Hey, come look at these clouds' and the wind had died down to next to nothing," recounted Silsbe. "I was looking at the clouds and they were swirling like paint pouring into water kind of thing and we didn't think too much of it but it looked pretty ominous."
Silsbe says he walked around the shop and found himself staring at a funnel cloud.
"I've never seen them before, I always kind of hoped I'd see one, but right away I knew let's get in the vehicle and go because I'm not keen on hiding in bathtubs and stuff."
The damage to the family property was limited to crops and the garden and Silsbe says the storm likely devastated this year's yield. "This is the second time we've had hail this year. The first was pretty bad as well but it had time to come back and it won't come back from this."
A few kilometres away from the Silsbe farm, owners of another property weren't as fortunate.
Thursday afternoon's storm damaged a barn, ripped siding off the family's home, broke windows, knocked tree branches to the ground, and smashed a vehicle's rear window.
As of Thursday evening, Environment Canada has not confirmed whether the funnel cloud touched down, a requirement to classify the cloud as a tornado.
Tornado warnings were issued late Thursday afternoon in Lethbridge County, the MD of Taber, and Vulcan County.
With files from CTV's Tyler Barrow