07/24/2013 15:31 EDT | Updated 09/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Funnel clouds seen in Winnipeg, weather watches issued

An area south of Winnipeg was under a tornado watch Wednesday afternoon after funnel clouds were reported just south of the Perimeter Highway and within the city itself.

Officials said meteorologists were tracking a very dangerous storm that has been producing multiple funnel clouds.

A tornado warning was issued for the entire RM of Ritchot Wednesday afternoon just before 2 p.m. CT and cancelled shortly after.

Officials urged residents to take cover in a sturdy, permanent building or go underground if threatening weather approached.

Environment Canada said vehicles, mobile homes, cottages, boats or tents and trailers were not safe.

They said people should try to get to bathrooms, closets, stair wells, basements or lower levels in buildings. Officials called the situation potentially “life-threatening.”

Shortly after lifting the tornado warning, officials issued a tornado watch for a number of areas including Steinbach, the Whiteshell and Sprague. Environment Canada officials said even though the initial warning had ended and been replaced with the less threatening watch, residents should still remain vigilant.

“We could see more funnel clouds later,” said Natalie Hasell, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. “It's still important to pay attention to what's going on — still important to follow your gut feeling. If you don't feel safe, it's a probably because you're not safe. So go seek shelter.”

Winnipeg is under a severe thunderstorm watch, and a funnel cloud could be seen forming near the Investors Group Field in the south end around 2 p.m. CBC Meteorologist John Sauder said the funnel clouds spotted in the city were cold-core funnel clouds and typically do not cause a lot of damage.