Large hail, heavy rain, strong winds possible in central Alberta

Heavy rain, large hail and strong wind gusts are in the forecast for parts of central Alberta on Thursday.

A line of thunderstorms is expected to develop early Thursday afternoon and move eastward through the afternoon and evening. Some of the thunderstorms could become severe, according to Global Edmonton chief meteorologist Jesse Beyer.

“Active weather is expected to be the most severe south of Edmonton,” Beyer said.

“Storms will be moving eastward after initiation off of the foothills. The main threats will be damaging wind gusts, and nearly tennis ball-sized hail. Heavy rain and numerous lightning strikes are also expected.”

On Thursday morning, Environment Canada issued severe thunderstorm watches for several regions south of Edmonton, stretching as far west as Nordegg, to Stettler in the east. The watches also encompassed the Drayton Valley area, south to Airdrie.

“As for Edmonton, the chance of thundershowers is in the forecast,” Beyer said. “However, most of the severe storms will remain south of city limits. There is a chance our area will be threatened by a strong storm, so monitor forecast details throughout the day.”

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds or torrential rainfall.

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