The RADAR imagery from a major supercell on July 4, 1996

What happened

The thunderstorm outbreak of 4 July 1996 was a major event for the area bounded by Saskatoon, Maymont and Osler. An estimated 11 documented tornadoes occurred in addition to an approximate area of 950 km2 of near F1 strength or greater downburst winds. Of the eleven tornadoes three are estimated to have tracks greater than 10 km long. The parent thunderstorm initiated 60 km south of North Battleford and moved eastnortheastwards. The tornadic activity began as the storm moved across to the north side of the North Saskatchewan River basin. An F2 tornado tracked 10 km moving just southeast of Maymont. It is hypothesized that a new mesocyclone reformed 10 km farther south resulting in an F3 tornado which tracked 20 km and had a maximum width of 1.5 km. As the thunderstorm approached the Osler and Saskatoon area it became more downdraft dominated, but 8 more tornadoes have been documented. Seven of these tornadoes were likely F1 or weaker but an F2 developed just west of Rheinland and tracked 15 km southeastwards with a maximum width of near 1 km. This tornado caused extensive damage along its path. The majority of the residents in the Saskatoon-Osler area were affected by downburst winds with an areal coverage of at least 790 km2.

RADAR images

Last update to this page: December 14, 2009