Severe weather reared its head in Southwest Manitoba on Friday evening in the most serious of ways as a storm system moving through the Virden and Oak Lake area for a time brought with it a tornado that reports indicate touched down in the area of Scarth.
Information on exact path was not available as of the time of this posting, however further accounts show the tornado as being visible to the West of the town Oak Lake and breaking up some time before reaching the town.
Available video and images on social media on Friday via the #mbstorm hashtag show the tornado progressing through fields in the area, accumulating debris, downing power lines and tossing vehicles in its path. Just prior to 9pm STARS Air Ambulance reported via its social media being dispatched to the Virden area.
On Saturday, Manitoba RCMP issued a statement via social media informing of the tragic loss of two lives:
A Tornado Warning had been issued just prior to 8pm with residents in the mobile coverage area being advised to take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches. All tornado warnings had been ended just prior to 9pm.
Looking West from Brandon just minutes before the Tornado Warning was issued
Environment and Climate Change Canada had shared notice on Friday morning via it’s Manitoba-based social media of the likelihood for severe weather later in the day throughout the Southern portion of the province. The main threats were believed to be severe wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours, with severe thunderstorm watches also cautioning of the potential for such weather events to produce tornados.
Severe thunderstorm watches and in some cases warnings continued to remain in place as of the time of this posting in Western Manitoba. For most current watches and warnings from Environment and Climate Change Canada, please visit https://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html?prov=mb
Title photo: Cheyenne Ammeter
Updated: Aug 8, 12:45pm. Added Manitoba RCMP statement