UPDATE (3:40 p.m.):

Environment Canada has ended its Severe Thunderstorm WATCH for the Elk Valley and the southern part of the East Kootenay, including Cranbrook.

The watch remains active for the northern part of the region, as well as the East Columbia, Kootenay Lake, and Yoho/Kootenay National Park areas.

ORIGINAL STORY (11:25 a.m.)

Environment Canada has issued a Severe Thunderstorm WATCH for the East and West Kootenays and Kootenay Lake.

“Conditions today and tonight are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms that may be capable of producing strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain,” said Environment Canada.

Environment Canada officials said lightning kills Canadians every year and people should head inside right away if they hear thunder.

**Story by Josiah Spyker**