From the Edmonton Journal: (Link)
“Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down 25 kilometres west-northwest of Sundre at. The storm has now been downgraded to a severe thunderstorm warning.
According to early reports, no one was hurt and no property damaged after the tornado made contact with the ground in a field near James River Bridge.”
Strathmore RADAR loop(2.5mb)
I am finding it hard to dig up details about this confirmed touchdown, but it appears to have been out west of Bearberry near the bridge there, close to a nudist colony where nobody saw anything.
We had just left Sylvan Lake after finishing up some business there and were near Benalto at the time this was going on, but this thing must have been behind the dark core from our veiwpoint.
After a quick pit stop at home I headed south to see what was going on, watching a real mean looking thing tracking down the foothills west of #22. I decided not to sample what looked like a dangerous hail core as it was going over Water Valley and headed for Didsbury and the 2a route.
It really didn’t look that appealing until about 6pm when it developed a huge wall cloud as it was crossing #22 near Bottrell. Unfortunately I was stuck on the QE2 in driving rain with Friday night long weekend traffic and couldn’t get a shot or even another look till the other side of Airdrie. It was looking disorganized by the time I got a good look again, but was still packing a very ugly looking core which I stayed well away from.
It looked like it might want to do something again west of Balzac around 6:20, but could not. 50-60kmh NE wind was cutting across it(outflow from storm to the NE?), lots of little spinny bits and scud bombs, even some good large scale rotation at times, but it just couldn’t organize itself. Stiff outflow winds to the south were kicking up huge dust plumes from all the construction sites on the northwest side of Calgary which probably freaked a few people out.
I decided to skirt the obvious hail core to the south and came back in behind it on Big Hill Springs road, finding some good drifts of pea to dime sized hail near the park turnoff, then a good 6 inches of it on the highway a few miles east, on the east side of the Nose Creek valley. I didn’t see any crop damage and only a light shredding of poplar leaves. Not one funnel did I see all day and only 18 photos taken.
Watching the hills again today.