This file photo from 2016 shows a tornado touched down in Ponoka causing damage to five homes but leaving no injuries. Environment Canada later confirmed the event, stating it was an Enhanced Fujita Scale Zero.

Rocky under tornado watch; severe thunderstorm watch in Red Deer

Some of these thunderstorms will have the potential to become severe

Several severe weather warnings have been issued for Central Alberta, including a tornado watch for Rocky Mountain House.

Environment Canada issued the Rocky watch at 02:08 p.m. Thursday.

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms, which may produce tornadoes.

The watch means be prepared for severe weather and take cover immediately, if threatening weather approaches. A warning, if one is issued, means is “Duck, it’s coming!”

In the event of a tornado, or if a tornado warning is issued for your area, it is recommended people take the following actions: Go indoors to a room on the lowest floor, away from outside walls and windows, such as a basement, bathroom, stairwell or interior closet. Leave mobile homes, vehicles, tents, trailers and other temporary or free-standing shelter, and move to a strong building if you can. As a last resort, lie in a low spot and protect your head from flying debris.

As well, Environment Caada has issued severe thunderstorm watches for Red Deer and other places in Central Alberta.

An unstable airmass over Alberta will set the stage for thunderstorms this afternoon and this evening. Some of these thunderstorms will have the potential to become severe. Hail to the size of golf balls or perhaps even larger, as well as wind gusts in excess of 100 km/h, are possible with these severe thunderstorms.

In addition, later this afternoon and this evening, it appears some potential for a few tornadoes will exist. As the day wears on and the scenario becomes more clear, parts of the watch may be upgraded to a tornado watch.

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect as of 2:45 p.m. Thursday for:

Camrose Co. near Bashaw and Meeting Creek

City of Red Deer

Co. of Paintearth near Halkirk and Big Knife Prov. Park

Co. of Stettler near Big Valley

Co. of Stettler near Botha and Gadsby

Co. of Stettler near Byemoor and Endiang

Co. of Stettler near Donalda

Co. of Stettler near Stettler Nevis and Rochon Sands

Flagstaff Co. near Forestburg and Galahad

Lacombe Co. near Clive Alix and Mirror

Lacombe Co. near Eckville

Lacombe Co. near Lacombe Blackfalds and Bentley

Ponoka Co. near Ponoka and Maskwacis

Red Deer Co. near Elnora Lousana and Delburne

Red Deer Co. near Penhold Innisfail and Bowden

Red Deer Co. near Pine Lake

Red Deer Co. near Spruce View and Red Lodge Prov. Park

Red Deer Co. near Sylvan Lake and Stephansson House

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