Severe thunderstorm watch issued for East Kootenay

Environment Canada forecasting a chance of showers and risk of thunderstorms Saturday afternoon

Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the East Kootenay on Saturday morning.

The agency forecasts favourable conditions for the development of severe thunderstorms that could produce strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain.

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.

In Cranbrook, the forecast calls for a chance of rain and risk of severe thunderstorms starting in the afternoon and leading into the evening.

An air quality statement also remains in effect for the region, as several large wildfires are burning up the Columbia Valley, Elk Valley, Flathead region and the West Kootenay.

Environment Canada advises people to stay inside if they have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air.

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