Blog Posts

  • Another Sep 7 tornado in southwestern Ontario

    By NTP, November 03, 2021

    A 10th tornado has been documented from the storms of Sep 7 in southwestern Ontario

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  • Sep 8th off-lake tornadoes in southern Ontario

    By NTP, November 02, 2021

    Summary details for two tornadoes that developed in southern Ontario on Sep 8, 2021.

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  • Northeast BC downbursts

    By NTP, November 02, 2021

    Summary of downbursts associated with 30 Jun 2021 QLCS in northeast BC

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  • Oct 10th tornadoes in NW ON

    By NTP, October 25, 2021

    Summary of two tornadoes confirmed in NW ON associated with the storms of Oct 10th, 2021.

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  • Tornado updates

    By NTP, October 20, 2021

    Three tornado event additions from recent storms.

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  • How to download NTP datasets

    By Francis Lavigne-Theriault, October 20, 2021

    A quick tutorial on how to download NTP datasets

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  • Eden-Walsh, ON damage survey

    By Connell Miller, PhD, October 15, 2021

    Brief discussion of the Eden-Walsh damage survey in southwestern Ontario.

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  • Tornado experts credit average Canadians for helping them gather data in 2020 (CBC)

    January 17, 2021

    COVID-19 restrictions made it a bit more challenging for experts to survey the damage at the site of every twister that touched Canadian soil in 2020, but researchers from Western University in London, Ont., say they were still able to get the job done, partly thanks to the average Canadian. "We developed our own twitter hashtag and people started to use it and when people would see things they would tell us about it and send us photographs that helped us when finding satellite imagery." said Greg Kopp, the lead researcher with Western University's Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) and ImpactWX chair in severe storms engineering.

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  • Add tornado uptick to things we won't miss about 2020: Local researchers (The Londoner)

    The Londoner, January 14, 2021

    As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough with a global pandemic, we can add tornadoes to the list of things we won’t miss about the year. Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) has identified 77 tornadoes that ripped across Canada in 2020, a 166-per-cent increase over what was thought to be the tornado count last year, the university said Wednesday.

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  • Local experts verify 77 tornadoes across Canada in 2020 (Blackburn News)

    January 14, 2021

    Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) confirmed 77 tornadoes across the country last year. The team’s work increased the number of twisters originally believed to have touched down in 2020 by 166 per cent, the university said. More than 409 investigations were conducted by NTP throughout the year, despite COVID-19 restrictions which made physically traveling to the affected areas difficult.

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  • Tornado touched down in Thornbury, Environment Canada confirms (CTV News)

    October 26, 2020

    BARRIE -- Envinronment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in Grey County Friday afternoon based on information from the Northern Tornadoes Project. Officials say the EF0 rated twister - which had wind speeds up to 130 km/h - made landfall in Thornbury, damaging trees, power poles and street lamps before entering Georgian Bay. The tornado was accompanied by thunderstorms and hail across parts of Simcoe County. Environment Canada Senior Climatologist Dave Phillips says the storm was one of a kind, representing all four seasons in just one day.

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  • Tornado confirmed to have hit Thornbury, Ont., during Friday storm (Global News)

    October 26, 2020

    Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in Thornbury, Ont., during Friday’s storm through Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project. The tornado followed a path through the town before it entered into Georgian Bay. According to a weather summary issued by Environment Canada, the tornado damaged a tree, a power pole and a street lamp.

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  • BREAKING: 39 Confirmed Tornadoes Breaks the All Time Ontario Record of 37 in One Season (Instant Weather)

    October 21, 2020

    Using hi-resolution satellite images, the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) has confirmed 5 more tornadoes in Ontario. This brings the total for 2020 up to 39 as of October 19th and breaks the record of 37 set in 2009. As well, there are now 10 tornadoes that have been confirmed to have occurred during the tornado outbreak on June 10th.

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  • Fall storms in Ontario produce EF-1 tornado, hail, waterspouts (The Weather Network)

    October 04, 2020

    The thunderstorms produced an EF-1 tornado that damaged a farm in rural Hamilton and 29 waterspouts, in addition to dropping small hail in many locales in southern Ontario Wednesday. September went out with a bang in southern Ontario, as an upper-level trough sparked thunderstorms that brought heavy rain, small hail, dozens of waterspouts and an EF-1 tornado Wednesday. Significant damage was incurred at a farm property in rural Hamilton. An outbuilding was destroyed, a truck was flipped on its side, a barn’s roof was torn off and trees were snapped. No injuries were reported. Researchers from the Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project verified the damage was yielded from a twister, giving it an EF-1 rating.

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  • Ontario accounts for nearly half of Canada's 2020 tornadoes so far (The Weather Network)

    September 06, 2020

    Summer 2020 has been an active tornado season in Ontario, which kicked off into high gear with what was eventually deemed an outbreak, even before the season technically started. Following the June 10th event, in which seven tornadoes were confirmed, there have been 23 more verified in the province, including another outbreak on July 19. The latest tornadoes occurred on Thursday, Sept. 3. As of Sept. 6, Canada has had 66 tornadoes in 2020. With 30 twisters confirmed in Ontario so far, with more events under investigation, the province has had the most tornadoes in the country to date, far ahead of Alberta's 12, the second-highest total in Canada. Investigators at the Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) have been working with Environment Canada to help verify tornadoes across the country through ground surveys, witness reports and surveillance data.

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  • Tornado touched down in Washago last week (Orillia Matters)

    September 06, 2020

    A small tornado carved a nearly two-kilometre path in Washago last week. The Northern Tornadoes Project confirmed this weekend that an EF1 tornado, no larger than 90 metres wide, touched down near the Severn Township village at the top of Lake Couchiching on Thursday. It had a 1.85-km path and a maximum wind speed of 145 km/h. Melinda and Robert Beisel were in their home when the storm rolled in. “We were finishing up dinner and we watched it come across the lake,” Melinda said. The rain pounding on the windows was so loud, they didn’t hear the trees snapping outside.

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  • TORNADO CONFIRMED IN WASHAGO FROM THURSDAY STORMS (Barrie 360)

    September 05, 2020

    An EF-1 tornado on the enhanced fujita scale cut a narrow path in Washago on the evening of Thursday, September 3, according to the Northern Tornadoes Project (NFP). Information received by Environment Canada indicates the tornado had maximum wind speeds of 145 km/h per hour and was associated with a line of heavy showers and thunderstorms. The twister cut a path of 1.85 kilometres in length. Most of the damage was to mature trees along a narrow path. There was also a confirmed tornado in Port Colborne the same evening, which was an EF-0 with maximum wind speeds of 125 km/h per hour and produced some tree damage. According to Western University, the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) is a partnership between the university and ImpactWX that aims to better detect tornado occurrence throughout Canada, improve severe and extreme weather prediction, mitigate against damage to people and property and investigate future implications due to climate change.

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  • Port Colborne’s east side hit by tornado, says Environment Canada (Well and Tribune)

    September 04, 2020

    An extreme weather event that ripped through the east side of Port Colborne for about 15 minutes Thursday night has been confirmed by Environment Canada to be a tornado. It also resulted in a storm on social media, with many people believing the blast to be a twister. Meteorologist Peter Kimbell said Friday afternoon an investigation has determined tornadic activity due to the high level of damage in the area. The storm had a track of about one kilometre and brought winds as high as 125 km/h, he said. Dr. Connell Miller, a research engineer from Western University and Northern Tornadoes Project, was in the neighbourhood around 12:30 p.m. Friday collecting data for a collaborative investigation with Environment Canada.

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  • Investigation confirms tornado touched down in Fort St. John (Energetic City)

    September 02, 2020

    After an investigation, Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in Fort St. John on August 21. Environment Canada says the Northern Tornadoes Project and Climate Change Canada completed a remote damage assessment and confirmed that meteorologists were correct in their early review of the storm. At approximately 7:50 p.m. on August 21, 2020, a tornado was reported in Fort St. John. Environment and Climate Change Canada received several reports of tornado damage. Damage reported to Environment Canada included damage to homes, vehicles and other property. The tornado has been given a rating of EF0 with a track 3 km long and up to 80 m wide. Wind speeds were estimated up to 130 km/h.

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  • Huron-Kinloss thanks first responders after tornado near Point Clark (Blackburn News)

    September 01, 2020

    The Township of Huron-Kinloss is thanking first responders after a EF0 Tornado touched down south of Point Clark on Friday, August 28th around 10:15 p.m. Investigators with Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) visited the Point Clark area on Saturday and confirmed the tornado on Sunday. The tornado hit the area near London Road, Lake Range Drive and Rosinke Drive, causing downed trees and causing damage to at least seven properties.

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  • Nighttime twister confirmed in Point Clark Friday (Owen Sound Sun Times)

    August 31, 2020

    No one was injured after a tornado packing a maximum wind speed of 130 kilometres per hour blew in off Lake Huron in Point Clark Friday night and forced three families out of their homes. The tornado was confirmed by the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University. It found the length of the tornado’s path was 300 metres and its width was 80 m, leaving trees toppled, some on houses, about 10:15 p.m. Tornadoes occur rarely after dark, said Dave Sills, executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project, which aims to document every tornado which occurs in Canada.

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  • Two confirmed tornadoes made landfall Thursday, possible third one Friday night (CTV News)

    August 30, 2020

    Western University's Northern Tornadoes Project has confirmed two twisters in the region on Thursday and is working on a possible third one Friday night. The first one was recorded near Mount Carmel at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. It was a category EF1 with 155 km/h winds, 100 metres wide and 7.1 km long. A vortex/funnel cloud was observed in St. Thomas at 3:05 p.m. but it didn't touch down. Ten minutes later, an EF1 tornado was reported near Union, 150 metres wide, 5.2 km long with 150 km/h winds.

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  • Western University team confirms tornado touchdown in Point Clarke (Global News)

    August 30, 2020

    The team at Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) has confirmed an EF0 tornado touched down in Point Clark, Ont., Friday night. Officials say it happened around 10:15 p.m. The tornado had a maximum wind speed of 130 km/h, a length of 300 metres, and a width of 80 metres. EF0 refers to a tornado with wind speeds between 105 and 137 km/h. An EF0 tornado is capable of causing light damage. The NTP says the twister came off Lake Huron, sending trees falling in multiple directions, including some on top of houses.

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  • Deadly tornado in Manitoba, increased to EF-3 rating (The Weather Network)

    August 18, 2020

    Intense thunderstorms rolled through southern Manitoba on Friday, August 7th, prompting tornado warnings and producing at least one twister. The tornado occurred near Scarth, Manitoba, around 8:10 p.m. local time. Environment Canada sent a team the next day to assess the tornado damage and gave the twister an EF-2 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds in the 179-217 km/h range. However, they have since upgraded the rating to an EF-3 after teams from the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) and the University of Manitoba collected data from the tornado site, and determined that the winds were approximately 260 km/h and caused a lot more damage than initially assessed.

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  • Waterspouts on Lake Huron sign of summer turning to fall: Environment Canada (Global News)

    August 18, 2020

    The start of the school year is often looked at as an unofficial sign that summer is coming to a close, but there’s another unexpected signal seen this week on Lake Huron: waterspouts. Social media was abuzz Monday with pictures and videos showing waterspouts off Sauble Beach, Ont., around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, but Environment Canada’s Gerald Cheng says it’s not surprising to see at this time of year. Cheng says waterspouts can develop either “top-down,” often in dangerous storms, or “water-up,” when cooler air passes over warm water — conditions that are more likely to occur in late summer.

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  • Southwestern Ontario living up to its reputation as Tornado Alley (Collingwood Today)

    August 17, 2020

    If you think there have been more tornadoes in southwestern Ontario than normal this year, it might be that twister hunters are getting better at finding them. The Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) at Western University — a research lab dedicated to studying twisters — has confirmed 23 tornadoes in Ontario this year, with 13 touching down in southwestern Ontario. “It’s definitely been pretty active here in the southwest,” said Greg Kopp, NTP’s lead researcher. Nationally, NTP has confirmed 48 tornadoes, with another 51 weather events under investigation.

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  • Southwestern Ontario living up to its reputation as Tornado Alley (Barrie Today)

    August 17, 2020

    If you think there have been more tornadoes in southwestern Ontario than normal this year, it might be that twister hunters are getting better at finding them. The Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) at Western University — a research lab dedicated to studying twisters — has confirmed 23 tornadoes in Ontario this year, with 13 touching down in southwestern Ontario. “It’s definitely been pretty active here in the southwest,” said Greg Kopp, NTP’s lead researcher. Nationally, NTP has confirmed 48 tornadoes, with another 51 weather events under investigation.

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  • Southwestern Ontario is living up to its reputation for tornadoes (London Free Press)

    August 15, 2020

    If you think there have been more tornadoes in Southwestern Ontario than normal this year, it might be that twister hunters are getting better at finding them. The Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) at Western University — a research lab dedicated to studying twisters — has confirmed 23 tornadoes in Ontario this year, with 13 touching down in Southwestern Ontario. “It’s definitely been pretty active here in the Southwest,” said Greg Kopp, NTP’s lead researcher. Nationally, NTP has confirmed 48 tornadoes, with another 51 weather events under investigation.

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  • Studying the storm (Winnipeg Free Press)

    August 08, 2020

    A deadly tornado that tore a path through southwest Manitoba Friday is the second severe twister to hit the region this summer, and weather scientists are analyzing a trove of evidence to learn more about it. Following early damage assessments in partnership with the Northern Tornadoes Project, Environment and Climate Change Canada has preliminarily categorized the tornado as an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The scale rates twisters from zero to five, with five being the most severe. According to the Northern Tornadoes Project, which is based out of Western University and aims to collect and analyze data on all tornadoes in Canada, the tornado that touched down near Scarth, 13 kilometres south of Virden on Friday left a 9.35-kilometre trail of damage in its wake, destroying land and property up to 740 metres away.

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  • 2 killed, 1 injured by tornado that touched down near Virden, Man., Friday night: RCMP (CBC)

    August 08, 2020

    Two people are dead after being thrown from their vehicle by a tornado that touched down near Virden, Man., on Friday night, RCMP say. A man and a woman, both 18 and from Melita — about 65 kilometres south of Virden — were pronounced dead at the scene, the Mounties said in a news release Saturday afternoon. Virden RCMP responded to a report at about 8:10 p.m., local time, that a tornado touched down near Highway 83 and Road 50N in the rural municipality of Pipestone, just south of Virden, the release said. When they arrived, they found extensive damage at a farm and a vehicle that had been thrown near the highway. The 54-year-old man inside that vehicle, from Sioux Valley Dakota First Nation, was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

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  • Tornado count rises in Ontario as technology to track them advances (Daily Hive)

    August 07, 2020

    Over the past weeks, it seemed like Toronto was under several tornado watches. And the Weather Network recently released a report showing a staggering tornado count in Ontario, saying the total for 2020 has nearly doubled the yearly average. The report said the average has been just under 13 twisters a year, but 2020 so far had seen 23 with at least one additional tornado under investigation. However, the analysis is challenged by Environment Canada. According to a Warning Preparedness Meteorologist with Environment Canada, the statistics in the Weather Network’s findings are misleading.

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  • Western University tornado experts say Mitchell storm didn't meet twister status (Stratford Beacon Herald)

    August 06, 2020

    Perth County’s tornado count for 2020 will stay at one after a group of Western University experts visited the site of Monday’s storm near Mitchell. It had many elements of a tornado – including a funnel cloud one storm chaser caught on video – but the Northern Tornadoes Project officially deemed it a sub-tornadic vortex. “There might have been swirling and a funnel cloud, but not enough intensity to call it a tornado,” lead researcher Greg Kopp said. The Western-based group follows the American Meteorological Society’s definition of a tornado when it visits storm sites across Canada, something it has done 145 times so far in 2020. The official American Meteorological Society definition is “a rotating column of air, in contact with the surface, pendant from a cumuliform cloud, and often visible as a funnel cloud and/or circulating debris/dust on the ground.”

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  • Researchers learning about the science behind active weather (CTV News)

    August 05, 2020

    Information on tornadoes and other active weather in Canada is readily available this summer, thanks to a group of researchers. There have been 36 confirmed tornadoes in Canada so far this year. Southern Ontario has also seen plenty of active weather in 2020. Behind the blowing wind and driving rain is science. "When something is damaged in a tornado, that for us is data," said Greg Kopp with the Northern Tornadoes Project.

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  • Environment Canada confirms tornado touched down in Kinmount (Minden Times)

    August 05, 2020

    ** Please note, later on Aug. 4 after this story went to print, Environment Canada upgraded the tornado that touched down in Kinmount to an EF2 rating, based on max winds reaching up to 180 km/hour and garages being swept away. Peter Kimbell, meterologist with Environment Canada, confirmed a tornado had caused the damage in Kinmount on Aug. 2. “We have a close collaboration with Western University, a specific group called the Northern Tornadoes Project, they actually do research on tornadoes across the country,” he told the Times on Aug.4. “They were able to confirm three tornadoes on Sunday – one in Camden East, one in Oxford Mills, one in Kinmount.” A tornado was confirmed in Perth County, near Stratford, the following day. Kinmount’s tornado was rated an EF (Enhanced Fujita Scale) 1, with maximum wind speeds of 150 kilometres an hour. “The EF0 goes from 90 to 130 km/hour, the EF1 goes from 130 to 175 km/hour and then it goes up from there,” said Kimbell. “So we know we can have an EF5 up to 300-and-so kilometres an hour. Those are extremely rare and only one recorded in Canada, but it’s possible.”

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  • More storm investigations in Palmerston (Blackburn News)

    August 05, 2020

    Researchers from Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project will be in the Palmerston area on Wednesday surveying damage left after Tuesday’s storm. The storm rolled through late afternoon spawning tornado warnings for Wellington County and a watch for southern areas of Grey County. It’s been a busy season for the NTP, this week alone investigating the damage in Mitchell and confirming three tornadoes in eastern Ontario. Monday’s activity in Mitchell was still under investigation as of late Tuesday.

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  • Multiple tornadoes touched down in Ontario over the weekend (Daily Hive)

    August 04, 2020

    Ontario reportedly saw four tornadoes over the weekend, ushering in the new month with some very wild weather. According to a bulletin from Environment Canada, three twisters appeared over the province on Sunday, August 2, and another single one on Monday, August 3. The first reported tornado struck Camden East around 2:35 pm. The weather agency says that damage associated with this event was “consistent with winds up to 130 km/h,” meaning this tornado has been rated a high-end EF0.

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  • UPDATE: Suspected tornado near Mitchell being investigated (Blackburn News)

    August 04, 2020

    Updated 4:50 p.m.: It is yet to be confirmed if a suspected tornado near Mitchell touched down on Monday, August 3. But Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project is looking into.

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  • Storm destroys trees, damages buildings in Camden East: 'It hit so fast and so hard' (The Whig)

    August 03, 2020

    Several trees were destroyed and a roof was torn off of a municipal building in Camden East on Sunday afternoon after a tornado ripped through the area. Environment Canada’s warning preparedness meteorologist, Peter Kimbell, said the Northern Tornadoes Project from Western University confirmed the weather event on Monday. Residents said that the extreme wind event happened around 2:30 p.m. and only lasted for a number of seconds. During those seconds, at least a dozen trees were uprooted or were broken off mid-trunk, shingles were lifted off at least two houses, vehicles were damaged and hydro lines and a hydro pole were toppled. A number of local streets were fully blocked by downed trees.

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  • Tornado confirmed in Blyth (Yahoo News)

    July 29, 2020

    The Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) confirmed that an EF1 tornado did touch down in the Blyth area on July 19. The line of severe storms passed through Southwestern Ontario, causing emergency alerts to be broadcast across the region, causing some people to take cover from anticipated tornadoes and wind damage. The tornado path was 6.7 km in length according to Environment Canada, with a maximum wind speed of 135 km/h. This was one of six confirmed tornadoes that were reported, with EF1’s also being confirmed in Lambton Shores, Gads Hill, Beachville (near Woodstock), and just north of Lucan. An EF0 was confirmed in Belmont.

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  • Experts say six twisters hit region in one day (Mitchell Advocate)

    July 24, 2020

    Survey teams from Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project have confirmed two more tornadoes were part of a storm that moved through Southwestern Ontario on Sunday, July 19, increasing the region’s total to six. The researchers found evidence of an EF1 tornado in the Blyth area Wednesday, July 22. It packed winds of 135-kilometres an hour and left a trail of debris 6.7 km long. They also confirmed a tornado at Gadshill had maximum winds of 150 km/h and left a trail measuring 4.2 km long. That one damaged a farm and some trees.

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  • Researchers confirm tornado Sunday near Arkona (Centre Ipperwash Community)

    July 24, 2020

    Weather researchers at Western University in London confirmed an EF1 tornado hit a dairy farm on Gordon Road near Arkona Sunday, among several connected with severe weather that day across the region. The researchers said the tornado in Lambton Shores saw a maximum wind speed of 155 kilometres per hour and a path length of 15.4 kilometres, and maximum path width of 200 metres. Buildings were damaged, but residents of the farm and its livestock weren’t injured. Members of Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project, a research lab dedicated to the study of twisters, sent teams to several areas of the region that saw damage from a storm Sunday that led Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning in several communities.

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  • Researchers confirm tornado Sunday near Arkona (Brantford Expositor)

    July 23, 2020

    Weather researchers at Western University in London confirmed an EF1 tornado hit a dairy farm on Gordon Road near Arkona Sunday, among several connected with severe weather that day across the region. The researchers said the tornado in Lambton Shores saw a maximum wind speed of 155 kilometres per hour and a path length of 15.4 kilometres, and maximum path width of 200 metres. Buildings were damaged, but residents of the farm and its livestock weren’t injured. Members of Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project, a research lab dedicated to the study of twisters, sent teams to several areas of the region that saw damage from a storm Sunday that led Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning in several communities.

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  • Researchers confirm tornado Sunday near Arkona (Brantford Expositor)

    July 23, 2020

    Weather researchers at Western University in London confirmed an EF1 tornado hit a dairy farm on Gordon Road near Arkona Sunday, among several connected with severe weather that day across the region. The researchers said the tornado in Lambton Shores saw a maximum wind speed of 155 kilometres per hour and a path length of 15.4 kilometres, and maximum path width of 200 metres. Buildings were damaged, but residents of the farm and its livestock weren’t injured. Members of Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project, a research lab dedicated to the study of twisters, sent teams to several areas of the region that saw damage from a storm Sunday that led Environment Canada to issue a tornado warning in several communities.

    Read the full article


  • Tornado group confirms six tornadoes, including ones close to Stratford and Woodstock (CTV News)

    July 23, 2020

    Six tornadoes have been confirmed by the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) out of Western University in London, including one near Stratford. An EF1 tornado caused damage to a farm and trees in Gads Hill with a max wind gust of 150km/h, a path length of 4.2 kilometers and width of 400 metres. The NTP survey team also found EF0 downburst damage south of Stratford with a path length of 18 kilometres and max winds of 115km/h. An EF0 downburst was also confirmed in the Palmerston – Arthur area. That downburst had a path length of 53 kilometres and max wind of 120 km/h.

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  • Five tornadoes touched down on July 19 in surrounding areas (Kitchener Today)

    July 23, 2020

    Researchers say five tornadoes had landed in surrounding areas earlier this week, and they say the wacky weather is not unusual. Dr. David Sills is the executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University. He says the five tornadoes touched down in nearby areas on July 19. "The list is Belmont, Lucan, Beachville, Gads Hill and Blyth. The water spout that was confirmed was over the Southern part of Lake Huron." He says there was some damage caused as a result of the tornadoes. "Most of the damage was to farms and to trees. There were a couple barns in large sheds that were blown over or blown down. Some green bins that were toppled."

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  • Make it five twisters in one day for London-area: Tornado experts (London Free Press)

    July 23, 2020

    Survey teams from Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project have confirmed two more tornadoes were part of a storm that moved through Southwestern Ontario on Sunday. The researchers found evidence of an EF1 tornado in the Blyth area Wednesday. It packed winds of 135 kilometres an hour and left a trail of debris 6.7 km long. They also confirmed a tornado at Gads Hill had maximum winds of 150 km/h and left a trail measuring 4.2 km long. That one damaged a farm and some trees.

    Read the full article


  • Four tornadoes now confirmed in southwestern Ontario including one near Stratford (CTV News)

    July 22, 2020

    A line of severe storms produced at least four tornadoes in southwestern Ontario on Sunday, including one near Stratford. Belmont, Ont. which is southeast of London, may soon get a reputation for tornadoes after it was confirmed that they saw an EF0 tornado over the weekend. Belmont also saw a tornado on June 10, when a barn was severely damaged in a series of storms. The confirmation of Sunday’s tornadoes was made by the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) out of Western University in London.

    Read the full article


  • Tornadoes confirmed in Lambton Shores and Blyth areas (Blackburn News)

    July 22, 2020

    Two more tornadoes have been confirmed to have ripped through southern Ontario over the weekend, for a total of six in one day. Investigators with Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) confirmed on Wednesday that an EF1 tornado tore through the Lambton Shores area on Sunday, July 19. The tornado had a max wind speed of 155 kilometres per hour, and a path that measured 15.4 kilometres long and 200 metres wide. Significant damage was reported on a dairy farm in the area between Arkona and Thedford. NTP survey teams also confirmed an EF1 tornado in the Blyth area on Sunday, which had a max wind speed of 135 km/h. The path of the tornado was 6.7 kilometres long and 50 metres wide.

    Read the full article


  • Sunday's severe weather included 3 tornadoes in the London region, experts confirm (CBC)

    July 21, 2020

    Western University researchers have confirmed that at least three tornadoes touched down in the London, Ont. region Sunday and they're investigating the possibility of more. "It's tricky," said David Sills, the executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) at Western University, a team of researchers dedicated to examining tornadoes. "As more reports come in, you can connect the dots more easily and see which ones seem to line up and those are the ones we're investigating because there's just scattered damage all over the place." The twisters made their way toward the region Sunday morning during severe weather that prompted Environment Canada to issue tornado warnings in several parts of southern Ontario.

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  • Local experts confirm Sunday's wild storms included three tornadoes (London Free Press)

    July 21, 2020

    A severe storm that hit Southwestern Ontario on Sunday also produced at least three tornadoes, a team of Western University researchers has confirmed. It’s the second time this year severe weather has led to twisters touching down in the region after two tornadoes were also reported in the Belmont area, outside London, and in Glencoe on June 10. Members of Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project, a research lab dedicated to the study of twisters, were on the ground Monday canvassing the path of Sunday’s storm, which downed trees and damaged farm buildings, again in Belmont and also near Lucan.

    Read the full article


  • Western researchers confirm 6 tornadoes touched down Sunday in London, Ont. region (Global News)

    July 20, 2020

    Western University storm researchers have determined that a total of six tornadoes touched down in the London, Ont., region during Sunday’s severe thunderstorms. Survey teams with the university’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) were dispatched this week to observe damage left behind by the storms that rolled through southwestern Ontario over the 11 a.m. hour Sunday, prompting tornado warnings for the area. NTP officials confirmed earlier this week that an EF0 tornado touched down near Belmont, while two EF1 tornadoes touched down north of Lucan and in Beachville, west of Woodstock. The tornado near Lucan also produced a larger EF0 downburst.

    Read the full article


  • Western researchers track paths of severe storms in Lucan and again in Belmont (London Free Press)

    July 20, 2020

    Two teams of Western University researchers were on the ground Monday near Lucan and Belmont to measure the impact of two possible tornadoes. A line of thunderstorms passed through Southwestern Ontario late Sunday morning, downing trees, knocking over farm buildings, flattening crops and flooding some areas. “They’re working on connecting the dots,” David Sills, executive director of Western’s Northern Tornadoes project, said of the two two-person teams in the field Monday. “We’ve got a lot of damage reports and some of those are lining up in tracks."

    Read the full article


  • PHOTOS: Possible tornado under investigation after damaging Sunday storms (The Weather Network)

    July 20, 2020

    At least one possible tornado is under investigation after the intense storms that slammed southern Ontario Sunday and prompted numerous tornado warnings from the late morning to the early afternoon. Environment Canada said the storms produced the possible tornado in the Belmont area, based on damage to trees and buildings investigated by the Northern Tornadoes Project. The tornado has not been given a rating as of yet, and the Northern Tornadoes Project will be further investigating the wind damage in southwestern Ontario Monday. Sunday's storms brought torrential rains, strong wind gusts near 100 km/h, frequent lightning and flash flooding, impacting large portions of the region. Tornado warnings were issued for parts of the southwest, GTA and cottage country during the day, following the storms for some two hours before being dropped a little after 1 p.m.

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  • Severe weather wreaks havoc on dairy farm in Lambton Shores (CBC)

    July 19, 2020

    It was a frightening experience at a Thedford, Ont. dairy farm Sunday morning when a strong storm ripped through the farm and destroyed several structures. "I wasn't thinking, I was just running," Eddy Van Engelen, owner of Van Engelen Dairy farm, said. "We were just shocked to see how much damage there was." Severe weather prompted Environment Canada to issue tornado warnings across much of Southern Ontario but it could not immediately determine if it was a tornado that hit in the area of the farm or if it was just storm-force winds.

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  • Alberta has had 10 tornadoes in 2020 as twister near Nanton upgraded (Global News)

    July 14, 2020

    Environment Canada said Tuesday that further investigation of a tornado that touched down near Nanton, Alta., on Sunday has unearthed evidence the twister was more powerful than first thought. “Following an investigation of damage sustained to a farm southwest of Nanton by the Northern Tornadoes Project and storm-spotters in the region, the rating of the tornado has been upgraded,” the weather agency said in a new weather summary posted to its website Tuesday afternoon. The Nanton-area tornado has now been preliminarily rated as an EF-1 tornado that reached an estimated wind speed of 150 kilometres per hour.

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  • Tornado touches down in Milton on Friday, Environment Canada confirms (CTV News)

    July 13, 2020

    A landspout tornado caused minimal damage when it touched down in Milton on Friday evening. Environment Canada confirmed the tornado developed in the area between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Meteorologists say the tornado was an EF Zero, with winds between 90 and 130 kilometres per hour.

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  • CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Landspout tornado appears to touch down in Milton (Inside Halton)

    July 11, 2020

    Numerous videos and photos are appearing online of a potential tornado touching down in Milton. Neither Environment Canada nor the Northern Tornadoes Project, a partnership between Western University and ImpactWX that aims to better detect tornado occurrence throughout Canada, have confirmed what was taken on video is indeed a tornado or landspout tornado. This video was taken by Saba Ali in the area of Tremaine Road and Louis St. Laurent Avenue.

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  • Tornado that hit Sturgeon Point in City of Kawartha Lakes classified as EF1 (Global News)

    July 07, 2020

    A tornado, which touched down in the City of Kawartha Lakes last month, has been classified as EF1, according to researchers. The storm struck the Sturgeon Point area in the afternoon of June 23. The twister’s winds damaged a dock and a barn near the shoreline of Sturgeon Lake, about 30 km north of Lindsay. No one was injured in the incident.

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  • Tornado officially confirmed in southwest Manitoba on Sunday (CTV News)

    June 30, 2020

    Environment Canada has officially confirmed a tornado touched down near Rapid City, Man. on Sunday. The report, released Tuesday afternoon, has assigned the tornado a preliminary rating of EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which tracks wind speed and damage from tornadoes. Environment Canada said the tornado touched down at 3:45 p.m. on June 28, five kilometres southeast of the community. The agency said the damage included two large drive sheds destroyed, hundreds of trees snapped and uprooted, toppled grain bins, and flipped trailers. The tornado also caused significant damage to two barns.

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  • A recent tornado in NW Ontario caused extensive forest damage (tbnewswatch)

    June 29, 2020

    A research group that collaborates with Environment Canada to find and document tornadoes has confirmed that a remote area of Northwestern Ontario experienced the province's first tornado of 2020. It happened on June 8 near Brooks Lake, approximately 35 kilometres northeast of Nestor Falls. David Sills, executive director of the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University in London, says aerial images have allowed his team to confirm the damage to the forest in that area was caused by an EF 2 tornado.

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  • Two additional tornadoes confirmed from storm on June 10 (CTV News)

    June 24, 2020

    The storm that swept through southwestern Ontario two weeks ago actually spawned four tornadoes locally, according to the Northern Tornadoes Project. The Western University research team tweeted Wednesday that two additional tornadoes, in Belgrave and Brussels, Ont. have now been identified. The one in Belgrave was an EF0 that left damage along a 5.5 kilometre-long path.

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  • 3 twisters hit Muskoka on June 10, says Northern Tornadoes Project (Muskoka Region)

    June 19, 2020

    A storm that knocked out power to thousands of Ontarians on June 10, including many customers in Muskoka, may have produced three tornadoes in the Muskoka area. A Tweet from a group of tornado researchers based at London’s Western University has claimed the storm spawned three twisters in Bracebridge, Baysville and Mary Lake areas. The Northern Tornadoes Project put out a Tweet on Thursday, June 18, “@westernuNTP has identified 3 new tornadoes from the June 10 storms in southern ON.”

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  • What it's like to chase the storms that spawned five tornadoes in Ontario (The Weather Network)

    June 18, 2020

    The shelf cloud that stretched from horizon to horizon didn’t look to be moving all that fast towards where I stood on the cliff in Goderich, but I’d been fooled before. These storms had a habit of looking spectacular and dangerous, but tended not to have major impacts on the communities that they roared over. Shelf clouds are, more often than not, an indication of a linear storm system that doesn’t usually spawn the far more dangerous, rotating storms we call supercells. So as I stood there in Goderich marvelling at the magnificent structure of the storm that was sweeping towards me, tornadoes were not foremost in my mind.

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  • Initial low-end EF ratings designated to Ontario's first two tornadoes in 2020 (The Weather Network)

    June 13, 2020

    The powerful storms that raced across southern Ontario Wednesday left behind numerous damage reports, along with the first two confirmed tornadoes in the province in 2020. After confirmation from Environment Canda, the sites of the damage caused by two twisters were then investigated by researchers from the Western University-based Northern Tornadoes Project. It has now given initial EF-0 and EF-1 ratings to the Glencoe and Belmont area tornadoes, respectively. The Glencoe area tornado, which was first spotted around 7:50 p.m., was given a preliminary EF-0 rating with maximum winds estimated at 130 km/h. The initial conclusion is this tornado began near Newbury Station and ended just east of Strathburn, travelling just a few kilometres south of Glencoe. The path length was 17 kilometres with a maximum width of 300 metres. Damage was confined to trees and a barn, as well as some sheds and homes.

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  • 2 tornadoes touched down near London, Ont., Western researchers confirm (Global News)

    June 12, 2020

    Local researchers have confirmed that the severe thunderstorms that uprooted trees, snapped branches and cut power across southwestern Ontario Wednesday night also spawned two tornadoes near London, Ont. Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) confirmed Friday that damage surveys conducted over the last two days had determined that Glencoe, Ont. and Belmont, Ont., saw preliminary EF0 and EF1 tornadoes touch down, respectively, during Wednesday’s storm.

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  • Researchers investigating after two tornadoes touch down in London area (London Free Press)

    June 11, 2020

    A pandemic, heat warnings before summer and now twisters. In a spring that’s been anything but normal, turned upside-down by the COVID-19 lockdown, snow in April and scorching summer-like weather weeks early, Southwestern Ontario lived up to its Tornado Alley reputation when two twisters touched down in the London area in a violent storm Wednesday night. The tornadoes knocked out power and damaged trees and buildings in the Belmont area, outside London, and in Glencoe southwest of the city. Member’s of Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project, a research lab dedicated to the study of twisters, was on the ground in Belmont Thursday surveying the destruction.

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  • Ontario based “Northern Tornadoes Project” calling on citizen scientists to report tornadoes this summer (CKOM)

    May 28, 2020

    If you’re a weather watcher who takes an active interest in capturing severe weather events like tornadoes on video, the Ontario based Northern Tornado Project (NTP) wants to hear from you. Based out of the University of Western Ontario, the NTP works with Environment Canada and the University of Manitoba to try to capture information on as many tornadoes that occur across the country as possible. The aim is to eventually develop better warning systems and to understand how climate change affects the prevalence and incidence of the storms.

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  • Weather watchers encouraged to report tornadoes in Canada this summer (Canadian Geographic)

    May 26, 2020

    On May 21, 2020, security cameras at a home in Saanich, B.C., north of Victoria, captured video of what appeared to be a weak tornado touching down in a backyard, sending a trampoline flying high into the air. For severe weather scientist Dave Sills, the event — likely Canada’s first tornado of 2020 — was a surprising and coincidentally-timed kickoff to a research season like no other. Just hours before, Sills and colleague Greg Kopp from Western University in London, Ont. had held a virtual briefing for media and members of the public about how their Northern Tornadoes Project will continue its research into severe weather events in Canada in light of public health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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  • Researchers identify 15 twisters that hit prairies on Canada Day (Phys.Org)

    July 09, 2019

    Two campgrounds in ruins. Houses lifted and shifted on their foundations. Thousands of trees felled as if by a giant meteorological axe. All told, as many as 15 tornadoes swept through northern Saskatchewan and Alberta during the Canada Day weekend, new findings from Western's Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) suggest.

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  • Researchers examine Prairie twister outbreak (Western News)

    July 08, 2019

    Two campgrounds in ruins. Houses lifted and shifted on their foundations. Thousands of trees felled as if by a giant meteorological axe.

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  • Tornadoes fascinate Western researchers who launch study project (London Free Press)

    July 04, 2019

    Dave Sills dreams about tornadoes all the time. Which is only fitting, since as the newly minted executive director of Western University’s Northern Tornadoes Project, he will spend his time studying and documenting the storms, of which there are as many as 230 in Canada in any given year.

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  • 5 confirmed tornadoes have been recorded in Alberta this year (The Weather Network)

    June 27, 2019

    Late June and early July is the heart of tornado season for Alberta and as of June 27, the province has already had five verified tornado reports. This is approximately 32 per cent of the average annual amount of tornados that Alberta sees per year.

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  • New technology allows experts to identify tornadoes in remote parts of Canada (Global News)

    June 19, 2019

    Access to a new constellation of satellites has experts at Western University searching for tornadoes across the country.

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  • Northern Tornadoes Project goes coast-to-coast in hunt for Canadian twisters (The Weather Network)

    June 14, 2019

    In their quest to find every tornado occurring in Canada, Western University's Northern Tornado Project just received a big financial boost that has allowed them to go national!

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  • Tornado alley childhood shaped meteorologist (Western News)

    June 13, 2019

    David Sills still remembers the smells and sounds of that mercurial evening in July 1980. It had been humid without relief for days when late-afternoon clouds began billowing from the west and racing towards Windsor.

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  • Database helps put Canadian tornadoes on the map (Western News)

    June 13, 2019

    No longer will important information about severe storms across the country – information that could save countless lives – be simply gone with the wind.

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  • Tornado project expansion to deepen understanding, save lives (Western News)

    June 13, 2019

    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. With a goal of detecting and analyzing every tornado in Canada, project organizers know its findings will save lives, mitigate losses and strengthen our understanding of severe storm activity.

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  • Before Canadian Scientists Can Study Tornadoes, They Have to Find Them (EOS)

    March 22, 2019

    A quirky thing about tornadoes is that over the past 30 years, their reported frequency—at least going by U.S. reports—has increased 30%. Of course, the last 30 years also correlate with the rise of Doppler radar, population growth, and cell phones.

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  • Northern Tornadoes Project seeks every twister in Canada (The Weather Network)

    February 25, 2019

    The project is a partnership between engineers at Western University and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and has, for the last two years, focused on sniffing out previously-undetected tornadoes in Quebec and Ontario. This year, the program is going national, with the goal to capture Canada's 'missing tornadoes'.

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  • Ambitious research project underway to find every tornado in Canada this summer (Instant Weather)

    January 15, 2019

    A 2017/18 research project originally designed to only assess tornadic frequency in remote areas of Northern Ontario and Quebec is set to expand to include the rest of Canada this summer...

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  • Meet Ontario’s tornado detectives (TVO)

    January 14, 2019

    Between the towering, twisting funnel cloud and the powerful winds, tornadoes may seem like difficult things to miss. But extreme-weather researchers believe that as many as 70 per cent of them go undetected in Canada.

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  • 'Please Do Not Take This Lightly' blows into the Artlab Gallery (Western Gazette)

    January 13, 2019

    On Jan. 10, the “Please - Do Not Take this Lightly” exhibit opened at the Artlab Gallery, showcasing artwork illustrating the danger and impact of tornadoes.

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  • Twister-tracking Western University scientists to study every 2019 tornado in Canada (London Free Press)

    January 10, 2019

    Scientists in London — located in Canada’s tornado alley, Southwestern Ontario — will be spending 2019 tracking twisters from coast to coast, launching the most comprehensive analysis of its kind ever done in Canada...

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