Fraser Valley Funnel Cloud Sighting: What You Need to Know

Funnel clouds spotted in B.C.'s Fraser Valley

“Unusual Weather Phenomena Sweep Lower Mainland”

Sub-heading: Funnel Clouds and Tornado Warnings

As weather watchers looked up at the sky on Saturday, they were greeted with a rare sight in the Lower Mainland. Funnel clouds were spotted between Abbotsford and Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley, a result of a thunderstorm that was moving over the region.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the Fraser Valley, highlighting the potential for strong wind gusts, large hail, and heavy rain. The agency even went as far as acknowledging the possibility of tornadoes, which is not a common warning in southwestern B.C.

Interestingly, funnel clouds are a precursor to tornadoes if they reach the ground. While tornadoes are extremely rare in British Columbia, there was a sighting at the University of British Columbia campus in November 2021.

Sub-heading: Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Shortly before 6 p.m., ECCC issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the western part of the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Mission. The storm, located west of Mission, was moving northeast, bringing with it the potential for heavy downpours, flash floods, water pooling on roads, large hail, and strong wind gusts.

The warning specifically mentioned the likelihood of pea-to-dime-sized hail, which had already been observed earlier that day in various parts of Metro Vancouver.


The rare sight of funnel clouds and the issuance of tornado warnings in the Lower Mainland serve as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of weather. While tornadoes are uncommon in the region, the recent occurrences highlight the importance of being prepared and staying informed during severe weather events. As climate change continues to influence weather patterns, it becomes even more crucial to prioritize effective communication and readiness in the face of extreme weather phenomena.



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