Environment Canada warns that conditions are favourable for the development of funnel clouds Thursday. A weather advisory has been issued for the Grande Prairie – Beaverlodge – Valleyview area.
Environment Canada says these types of funnel clouds are generated by weak air rotation under rapidly growing clouds or weak thunderstorms. This is generally not dangerous near the ground, but there is a chance the rotation could intensify and become a weak landspout tornado.
Officials warn to treat any funnel cloud sighting seriously, and residents are advised to prepare to take shelter should a funnel cloud develop nearby.
A severe thunderstorm watch has also been issued for the Peace River, Fairview, High Prairie and Manning areas. Environment Canada reports conditions are favourable for severe thunderstorms capable of producing strong gusts of wind and large hail.
Thunderstorms are expected to develop Thursday afternoon and persist into the evening.