Newsmakers 2019: Northern Tornadoes Project


Today, Western News presents its 10th annual Newsmakers of the Year – a celebration of some of the people, places and things that shaped the year at this institution. Before we start looking ahead to 2020, join us as we take one last look at 2019. Visit the entire list.

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Western is poised to become the country’s leading authority on tornado tracking and research thanks to a major expansion of its Northern Tornadoes Project in June. With a goal of detecting and analyzing every tornado in Canada, project Executive Director David Sills says its findings will save lives, mitigate losses and strengthen our understanding of severe storm activity.

The Northern Tornadoes Project began two years ago with a pilot study to conduct aerial analyses of storm damage in remote, unpopulated areas of northern Ontario. Its expansion now is a result of an investment from ImpactWX, a Toronto-based social impact fund that also funded the initial research.

Project lead Gregg Kopp said the expanded scope includes the establishment of the ImpactWX Chair in Severe Storms Engineering, as well as the expansion and intensification of data collection, analysis and archiving activities across Canada.