WINNIPEG, June 23 /CNW Telbec/ - A preliminary assessment by Environment
Canada meteorologists onsite at Elie, Manitoba indicate that the tornado that
struck the area last evening was likely an F4 on the Fujita tornado damage
According to the Fujita scale, wind speeds would have been in the 331 to
417 km per hour range. An F4 tornado accounts for about two percent of all
tornadoes. The Fujita rates the severity of tornadoes based on the damage they
Initial assessments and eye witness reports indicate that the tornado was
on the ground for about 30 to 40 minutes, and traveled for a distance of about
5.5 km. Damage occurred in a swath about 300 metres wide.
In 2006, Manitoba experienced 15 tornadoes and 62 hail events, compared
to a long term (1984-2006) average of 9 tornadoes and 25 hail events. The
incidence of tornadoes is likely higher than that. Because the Prairies have
large, sparsely populated areas, many more tornadoes may go unreported.
Tornadoes can develop very rapidly. It is vital that people know what to
do in a weather emergency to reduce the risk of personal safety and property.
- Keep an eye on the sky, and be alert for severe weather watches and
- If a tornado threatens, take shelter immediately, preferably in the
lower level of a sturdy building.
- Flying glass and debris poses the largest danger to human safety.
- If caught outdoors, with no shelter available, lie flat in a ditch,
ravine or other low lying area, and shield your head with your arms.
Environment Canada's Storm Prediction Centre (SPC) in Winnipeg is
reviewing the storm patterns and images, video footage and other information,
to further examine this event. The science of storms is a priority of the
SPC, and work is ongoing to enhance and continuously improve our understanding
and knowledge of severe weather patterns and tornadoes.
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For further information:
For further information: Dave Carlsen, Warning Preparedness
Meteorologist, (204) 983-5871; Dan Kulak, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist,
(780) 951-8607; Additional tornado and weather safety information is available
on Environment Canada's Internet at http://www.pnr-rpn.ec.gc.ca/index.en.html