Environment Canada has issued a weather alert for the areas of Ottawa-Gatineau, warning residents that some pretty scary-looking funnel clouds have been seen in Rockland, and appear to be heading east towards the Capital city. According to their weather report, the Ottawa weather conditions and those in other towns in Ontario and Quebec will be “favourable for the development of funnel clouds” on Wednesday afternoon.
The weather warning, which was issued at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, warned that a funnel cloud had been observed in the eastern Ontario town of Rockland, east of Ottawa, and is expected to be moving quickly towards the capital city.
Currently, the advisory is warning residents of Prescott-Russell, Cornwall, Morrisburg, and Ottawa, as well as the people of Gatineau.
According to the report, funnel clouds are generated by “weak rotation under rapidly growing clouds or weak thunderstorms." While the advisory noted that this weak rotation is not usually a danger, Environment Canada does warn that there is a chance that the rotation could intensify and become a landspout tornado.
A weather advisory is in place for #Ottawa, Cornwall, Prescott and Russell for the development of funnel clouds.… https://t.co/EClT2VVxCE— The Weather Network (@The Weather Network) 1564591785.0
The statement warns residents in affected areas to treat funnel cloud sightings seriously and advises that Canadians should be prepared to take shelter if a funnel cloud develops nearby. The notice also adds that funnel clouds “usually appear with little or no warning."
Just as fast as Environment Canada put out their weather reports, local residents who had already witnessed Wednesday’s funnel cloud took to Twitter to share photos of the pretty-terrifying weather.
Spotted East of Ottawa in Cumberland. https://t.co/EJTDwuJorJ— Ian Black (@Ian Black) 1564590750.0
Small funnel cloud spotted in Rockland by BTR listener Mark Nicholson #Ottweather @environmentca @weathernetwork… https://t.co/Wh3Zq8fGek— Blast The Radio (@Blast The Radio) 1564590206.0
Environment Canada confirms a funnel cloud has been spotted over Rockland and is moving eastward. These photos were… https://t.co/X7enEgzOeh— Charlie Senack (@Charlie Senack) 1564591079.0
Funnel over Ottawa River in Rockland - taken from Hwy 17 @BlacksWeather https://t.co/a0qQlkPdoy— Allisen Gaudet (@Allisen Gaudet) 1564589080.0
This just dropped in my email box from viewer Sean: not a tornado, but a funnel cloud that briefly touched water ne… https://t.co/HHhbTy3aAp— Teri Loretto (@Teri Loretto) 1564591072.0
For the rest of the afternoon, there is a small chance of thunderstorms in certain parts of the Ottawa-Gatineau area this afternoon. While over in the rest of the south of Quebec, Environment Canada has issued severe thunderstorm warnings, urging locals to stay indoors as conditions are favourable for “the development of dangerous thunderstorms that may be capable of producing damaging wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.”
For those in Ontario and Quebec this currently-sunny Wednesday, stay safe and stay prepared — it’s looking to be a pretty blustery afternoon!
Disclaimer: Cover photo used for illustrative purposes only.