It’s storm season in the Cochrane area and around the province. Environment Canada has implemented a new alert system to help people seek shelter from high-risk weather.
Braydon Morisseau with The Prairie Storm Chasers is no stranger to extreme weather. He gives a rundown of when Cochranites could expect to see these alerts.
“Starting June 1, Environment Canada implemented the new higher-end severe thunderstorm warning. The criteria for that thunderstorm warning will be anything above baseball-sized hail, seven centimeters or larger and wind speed above 130 kilometers an hour.”
“It's very similar to a tornado warning where you would get those warnings on your broadcast, through TV, and through your telephone and stuff like that. Typically, a thunderstorm warning wouldn't trigger a broadcast interruption like that. But with this news, extreme thunderstorm warning, we will see that implemented.”
Morisseau and The Prairie Storm Chasers are known to send information about these extreme storms back to Environment Canada.
“We've got the vehicles that allow us to get a little bit more up close and personal with these storms. When we encounter these large hailstones, especially around the baseball size like that, we've outfitted our vehicles to allow for being and we get closer to that kind of extreme weather.”
The new alert system is in place to give people time to seek shelter from storms. Morisseau says there is one place that you should always avoid.
“I know a lot of people think that it's safe to hide under overpasses, but that's actually the most dangerous place you can be in a severe thunderstorm. Not only are you impeding other people from getting to safety, but you're in an area with constricting wind speeds and similarly, like putting your thumb over a garden hose. By being under an overpass you're putting yourself actually in more danger than then you would be just to get out in the hail”