Environment Canada issues weather alerts, air quality statements for parts of southern Alberta

Environment Canada has issued special air quality statements for LethbridgeCrowsnest Pass and Fort Macleod due to smoke from wildfires in southeastern British Columbia.

The smoke is expected to persist through tonight and into Friday morning. People in those areas are encouraged to take extra precautions such as staying indoors to reduce smoke exposure.

Environment Canada also issued a severe thunderstorm warning for several parts of southern Alberta Thursday afternoon but has since downgraded the warnings to watches.

Watches mean current weather conditions are favourable for potential strong gusts of wind, hail and heavy rain but no storms are currently imminent.

Areas currently under a severe thunderstorm watch include:

The warning earlier Thursday advised anyone caught in the storm to take cover if threatening weather approaches.

“Large hail can damage property and cause injury,” the warning read. “Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!”

Such warnings are issued when dangerous thunderstorms are imminent or already occurring.

Environment Canada has also issued a heat warning for the far southeastern part of Alberta in Cypress Hills Provincial Park – Foremost.

Residents can continue to monitor storm developments by following the #ABstorm hashtag on Twitter or by checking Environment Canada’s Alberta weather alerts page.

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