'Lightning' flashes spotted in Saskatoon during winter storm likely not what they appeared to be
SASKATOON -- A roaring winter storm that brought 102 km/h wind gusts, blowing snow and a rare weather phenomenon known as "snow rollers" to the city may have had something else up its sleeve: lighting.
But maybe not.
A pair of videos captured in the city's Riversdale neighbourhood and shared with CTV News, which can be viewed in the player above, appear to show flashes of lightning.
Nicole Dyck recorded the videos after noticing the flashes while taking her dog outside during the storm.
"I stood out there for a little bit and was just watching the trees and noticed that there was a little bit of lightning. So I decided to try and catch it from two different angles in my yard," Dyck said.
Dyck wasn't the only one who noticed the flashes, with others taking to social media to report seeing similar flashes during the storm.
However, Environment Canada and Climate Change meteorologist Terri Lang said the flashes likely had a more terrestrial origin.
"Our lightning detection network did not pick up any lightning strikes. We also check other lightning networks, there weren't any lightning strikes. So we have to presume that was power lines sparking," Lang said.
According to Saskatoon Light and Power, Riversdale was hit by a power outage during the storm caused by a tree that came into contact with powerlines after it was bent by the wind.
She wasn't directly affected by the outage, with her power remaining on through the night, but Dyck agrees that Lang's theory sounds plausible.
"Yeah, you know what, that actually could definitely have been what I was seeing, like, you know, lightning usually see several flashes in succession," Dyck said.
While no lightning strikes were confirmed in the Saskatoon area, Lang said the weather agency did detect a strike in southwestern Saskatchewan.
"We did see lightning strikes in Alberta yesterday as well so we knew that this weather system carried quite a bit of energy with it.," Lang said.
A detail that still leaves room for a bit of mystery for Dyck.
"Maybe I caught some weird anomaly that's so bizarre but yeah, it's very cool that there was some lightning found in the storm," Dyck said.