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Prairie storm threat continues Thursday, smoky skies cloud the region

The Weather Network logo The Weather Network 2021-07-22 Digital Writers

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The Prairies' prolonged and recurring spells of heat and humidity are prime ingredients for thunderstorms, with Thursday's greatest severe risk straddling the boundary between Manitoba and Saskatchewan – with some supercell potential in the mix. Beyond, the enduring heat has several days to go yet. More on the timing and impacts of the storms and wildfire threats, below.

THURSDAY: SEVERE STORM POTENTIAL STRADDLES THE EASTERN PRAIRIES

After a spate of storms Wednesday, severe storm threat will spread into northern and central Saskatchewan on Thursday as the trough marches eastwards, with heavy rain, strong winds and large hail being the main concerns for the region.

Additionally, forecasters are keeping a watchful eye on the potentil for supercells in central Saskatchewan.

map © Provided by The Weather Network

MUST SEE: Smoky skies span the country with nearly 800 active wildfires burning

Meanwhile, air quality remains a significant hazard across the Prairies and Interior British Columbia into Wednesday, with air quality statements still widespread and temperatures remaining seasonably warm.


Video: Stormy weather spills into Sunday across most of the Prairies. (The Weather Network)

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“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. The agency added that “people with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution.”

If you have to spend any significant amount of time outdoors during periods of thick smoke, wear a tight-fitting mask that’s rated to filter out the small particulate matter found in wildfire smoke.

map © Provided by The Weather Network

LOOK AHEAD: STAYING SEASONABLY WARM AND MOSTLY DRY

Temperatures will remain above-seasonal for coming days, as this brutally hot summer continues to take its toll on the Prairies. Little to no meaningful precipitation is likely for the hardest-hit areas, with severe drought conditions continuing to worsen for southern sections.

a close up of a sign © Provided by The Weather Network

Continued high heat and little rainfall is a terrible prospect for agriculture on the Prairies, which is already suffering from the effects of the heat and dryness they’ve experienced so far this season.

"Even though another round of showers and thunderstorms are expected for southern Manitoba on Friday, the damage has been done for many across the region and this will by no means erase the deficits," says Dr. Doug Gillham, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.

WATCH BELOW: WHAT LONGER, HOTTER, AND MORE FREQUENT HEAT WAVES MEANS FOR YOUR HEALTH

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Be sure to check back for the latest on the Prairie thunderstorm threats and heat.

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