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Severe thunderstorms set to hit Edmonton, central Alberta on Friday afternoon

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While heat warnings remain in place across southern Alberta, the middle of the province — including the Edmonton region — is expected to see severe thunderstorms roll in.

“After a few days of heat and the addition of low level moisture, we have the potential for severe thunderstorm development Friday afternoon and evening in Edmonton,” Global Edmonton meteorologist Jesse Beyer said.

The storm is expected to fire up off the central foothills, will likely move through the Edmonton area and through east central Alberta, Beyer explained.

Read more: Environment Canada changes its national alert system for extreme storms

A few of these thunderstorms are likely to become severe, so Environment Canada issued watches from Airdrie in the south, stretching north to the Fox Creek and Swan Hills area in the north, and from the foothills east to Camrose, Vegreville and Stettler.

More watches will likely be added as the storm moves from west to east, and existing watches may be upgraded to warnings as the storm develops.

For a complete list of areas in Alberta under a weather alert, click here.

Read more: First severe storm of the season brings hail, lightning to central Alberta

Beyer said the main threats will be 90km/h wind gusts, ping-pong-ball-sized hail, lightning and rain.

“With the cooling temperatures and low level moisture, relative humidity will be high leading to fog patches overnight,” he said.

Severe thunderstorm watches are issued when atmospheric conditions are favourable for the development of thunderstorms that could produce one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.

Read more: Calgary weather: heat wave in the forecast this week

Meanwhile, heat warnings remain in southern and southeastern Alberta, where daytime temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s combined with overnight lows between 14 and 16 C are expected to continue until Saturday morning.

People are advised to take the following precautions during the hot weather:

  • Consider rescheduling outdoor activities to cooler hours of the day
  • Take frequent breaks from the heat, spending time in cooled indoor spaces where possible
  • Drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to stay hydrated
  • Check for your children or pets before you exit your vehicle. Do not leave any person or pet inside a closed vehicle, for any length of time

One of the best ways to track locally hazardous driving conditions is from local viewer reports. The #yegtraffic hashtag is often used by Twitter users reporting traffic issues within Edmonton.

If safe to do so, share your weather photos with us via the Global Edmonton Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also post updates from your community using the hashtags #yegwx and #abstorm.

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