Two tornadoes touched down in Alberta on Monday: Environment Canada

A few days into June and it appears storm season has fully arrived in Alberta after at least two tornadoes touched down in the province on Monday.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) are investigating several reports of twister activity Monday afternoon and say they are aware of tornadoes touching on two occasions.

ECCC meteorologist Alysa Pederson says the first happened around 2:45 p.m. in the community of Edberg, about 125 kilometres southeast of Edmonton. As that storm continued to move southeast there was another short-lived tornado two hours later near Gadsby, around 105 kilometres east of Red Deer.

Several videos posted to social media appear to show a tornado touching down in a rural area. There are no reports of any significant damage or injuries.

“There’s usually a lot of moisture in Alberta, which is why we see this in June and July,” she says. “It has a lot to do with the winds higher up in the atmosphere and how everything mixes to make that perfect storm environment.”

Tornadoes rare in Calgary, but not impossible

While tornado activity is not a common occurrence in the city of Calgary, Pederson says it’s not impossible. In recent years tornadoes have crept closer to the city limits.

“We’re getting a better idea of how far north these events can be,” she says. “The hot spot generally seems to be, Edmonton down south to the border just east of the Rocky Mountains. That’s a pretty good corridor for us.”

Sue Henry, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, is cautioning residents to pay attention to emergency alerts. She says if a tornado warning is issued, residents should look to seek shelter immediately in a basement or hallway.

“Know ahead of time where those safe places in your house are,” Henry says. “You want to put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.”

And if you’re driving, avoid underpasses and get off the road as it is safe to do so.

“Drive out of the path of where that tornado is going,” she says. “If that is not an option, avoid staying in your vehicle.”

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