Clouds loomed over the Stampede parade Saturday morning. Angie Mindus photo

Clouds loomed over the Stampede parade Saturday morning. Angie Mindus photo

UPDATE: Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Williams Lake and area

Risk of rain, strong winds and large hail for the afternoon

Update:

Thunderstorms packing strong winds and lightning swept through the Cariboo Saturday, but no hail was reported.

The packed crowd at the Williams Lake Stampede were were able to find shelter from the brief rainstorm, while lightning forced the brief stoppage of play at the rugby tournament.

More stormy weather is in store for the remainer of the long weekend.

Original story:

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Williams Lake this afternoon, just as the Williams Lake Stampede is expected to get underway.

“An unstable airmass over the central Interior of B.C. will give scattered thunderstorms this afternoon. Most of the storms are expected to be non-severe, but there is a slight risk of large hail,” stated the warning.

“A severe thunderstorm is categorized as having at least one of the following: wind gusts of 90 km/h, rainfall of 25 mm in one hour, or hail size of two cm.”

The daytime high in Williams Lake is forecast to reach 17C.

The third performance of the Williams Lake Stampede will get underway at 1:45 p.m.