No emergency alerts or weather warnings were sent out in the area regarding the storm
By Kate Ayers
Chelsey van Staveren witnessed a twister coming uncomfortably close to her family’s farm in Saskatchewan on Saturday.
“We’re watching it and it just keeps getting higher and higher and higher and we’re like, ‘OK, this is not a normal dust devil,” van Staveren said to CBC yesterday.
What started out as a dust devil on the ground swept upwards and connected with a storm cloud, a CBC article said.
van Staveren spotted the tornado near her father’s Griffin, Sask.-area farm, located about 120 kilometres southeast of Regina.
“The funnel kind of came down from the sky and it joined and we were like ‘Oh my God,’” she said.
Despite the appearance of the tornado, van Staveren did not receive any emergency alerts or weather warnings for the area, the article said.
“There was no wind, so we were like, “Ah, it’s just kind of funky cloudwork.’ It’s Saskatchewan, we always get kind of weird stuff all the time,” van Staveren said to CBC.
Environment Canada later confirmed that the funnel cloud was a landspout, which was active for about 10 minutes.
A landspout is a type of tornado that is not associated with a mesocyclone (rotation) of a thunderstorm and forms from the bottom up, the Weather Network website said.
“We were just kind of watching it pick up debris. It went through an abandoned farmyard across the way and luckily there was no one there,” she said.
“It was kind of picking up little things here and there, and getting bigger and darker.”
van Staveren said her family does not have an emergency preparedness plan for tornadoes since they have never experienced one in their area, the article said.
Environment Canada designated the landspout as “EF0.” This rating means the landspout was generated by weak rotation under growing clouds or weak thunderstorms.
Although landspouts generally do not cause significant damage, these tornadoes can be dangerous since they can take down trees, damage roofs or pick up debris, Environment Canada said.
Tornado hunters told van Staveren this type of tornado can be hard to forecast, which may have contributed to the lack of warnings from the Saskatchewan government’s emergency alert system.
Environment Canada is looking for pictures and information about the storm and is asking people to call 7-800-239-0484, email email@example.com or tweet with the hashtag #skstorm.
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