Environment Canada has yet to confirm just how many tornadoes hit southern Manitoba Wednesday evening.

Meteorologist Natalie Hasell says we had a low-pressure system centred in Saskatchewan with a frontal structure that crossed southern Manitoba. She explains that this was the main trigger for Wednesday's thunderstorms. Hasell explains that we started the day with unstable air, noting there were storms in North Dakota that moved into Manitoba with this frontal structure. 

"We definitely had enough local moisture and some moisture coming up from the States in the Gulf of Mexico," says Hasell. "And the wind profile was right to produce storms that had rotation in them."

She says they are still investigating just how many events actually occurred on Wednesday, but certainly, there was large hail reported and a few tornadoes.

According to Hasell, the main areas of storm activity were between Rivers and Rapid City, northwest of Brandon. There were also bad storms near Swan Lake and near the Saskatchewan border. 

Hasell says as of mid-morning on Thursday, the Northern Tornadoes Project, which works closely with Environment Canada is headed to these locations to do surveys to determine how many tornadoes there were. 

"We're pretty sure about four or five of them," she says. "There might have been more."

Hasell notes they are also not certain whether these storms were cyclic. Those are the types that produce a tornado, dissipate, and then regenerate. 

"It's the same circulation inside the storm, but the stuff on the ground is separated by gaps," she explains. "So, does that count as one tornado, does that count as several?"

Hasell says Wednesday's storm also produced hail, with most of it being nickel sized. However, there have also been reports of hail the size of a toonie, which she says is normal for this type of storm.

"Tornadic storms are strong updraft storms and the stronger updraft you have, the longer the hail is held in the storm and the longer it has to grow," she explains. "Both tornadoes and hail are signs of really strong updrafts."

There have been few reports of damage, to this point, but an outdoor event structure near Swan Lake First Nation is believed to have had part of its roof and walls torn off by one of the tornadoes.

"I haven't heard of any injuries or worse, so I am relieved that there hasn't been much more reported with these storms," adds Hasell.

Meanwhile, Hasell says there is a chance of severe weather again on Thursday. She notes there is a risk of thunderstorms for most of southern Manitoba, with wind gusts to 50 kilometres per hour and hail.