Saskatoon sparks Emergency Operations Centre in response to tornado watch in Central Sask.

A man walks down a sidewalk carrying an umbrella during a period of heavy rain in Surrey, British Columbia on Tuesday, January 12, 2022.

The City of Saskatoon has activated its Emergency Operations Centre in response to a tornado watch in the area.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued the watch Sunday afternoon, cautioning people about the chance for large hail, strong wind gusts, torrential downpours and tornadoes.

The storms are expected to begin mid-to-late Sunday afternoon with the threat of a tornado dwindling into the late evening and night.

"This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. Be prepared for severe weather. Take cover immediately, if threatening weather approaches," the ECCC alert says.

Saskatoon said in a news release issued Sunday afternoon the rain can lead to localized flooding and emergency response teams and city departments are on standby.

It also warned that Saskatoon Transit services could be impacted by the storm.

Environment Canada has also issued public alerts for tornado watches in the following areas:

  • Prince Albert, Shellbrook, Spiritwood and Duck Lake.

  • The Battlefords, Unity, Maidstone and St. Walburg.

  • Martensville, Warman, Rosthern, Delisle and Wakaw.

  • Meadow Lake, Big River, Green Lake and Pierceland.

  • Outlook, Watrous, Hanley, Imperial, Dinsmore.

It has also issued severe thunderstorm watches across areas of south and central Saskatchewan.

If a tornado does touch down, ECCC recommends people go indoors to a room on the lowest floor, away from outside walls and windows, like a basement, bathroom or stairwell.

It also suggests people in mobile homes, vehicles or tents move to a strong building or, as a last resort, lie in a low sport and protect your head.