An astonishing timelapse video shot from the 26th storey of a downtown Calgary office tower shows just how quickly a funnel cloud formed over the city Wednesday.
Captured by Wes Pohl in the Jamieson Place building and posted to Vimeo, the video shows dark storm clouds rotate overhead. As he zooms in, the funnel cloud is clearly visible.
"I've always wanted to see a tornado and I never have … I was kind of hoping it would turn into one," Pohl told CBC News.
"It was still pretty impressive what the camera did capture."
Environment Canada declared a tornado warning early Wednesday afternoon.
But while there was a lot of rain and some golf ball-sized hail in the southern quadrants of the city, there weren't any injuries and the worst damage appeared to be some dented vehicles and downed trees.
Environment Canada later lifted the warning.
The agency said a tornado did touch down briefly near Priddis, a hamlet about 45 kilometres southwest of Calgary, before the storm moved over the city.
Tom Sampson, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said the scare did show up a weakness in how some residential high-rises handled the emergency.
"We experienced a number of buildings telling their people to evacuate today, and very quickly tried to put the clamp on that to say, stay in your building, stay indoors," he told a news conference.
"The whole idea is that if you're in the building, you're protected by the building's shell. You should put as many things between you and the windows as you can in the event of an actual tornado."
Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurtry told the Calgary Herald that while tornadoes are a rare occurrence within city limits — only eight have touched down within the past four decades — it's "not unfathomable" for it to happen.
Many Calgarians took to social media to post pictures of the funnel cloud and threatening skies.
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