Photo: F4 tornado causing devastation in Windsor, ON, on June 17th, 1946 – photo by Harry G. Garland (CC BY-SA 4.0)
MICHAEL NEWARK DIGITAL TORNADO ARCHIVE
The Michael Newark Digital Tornado Archive is a collection of analysis materials related to tornado and other damaging wind events dating back to to the late 1700s. The materials mostly consist of digitized versions of the original physical files kept by Environment Canada.
The scans for Ontario events were available first so the publishing of those is well underway (see below). Scanned materials for the rest of Canada are coming soon!
Note that a number of these events have been revisited by Environment Canada and/or NTP, with details added and in some cases results revised - often after additional information had been discovered. Therefore, results shown here may not match those in the latest Environment Canada and NTP event databases.
Finally, thanks to Environment Canada for their help with making this material available online.
About Michael Newark
Michael Newark, a University of Toronto graduate, worked as a meteorologist with Environment Canada from 1959 until he retired in 1991. It was while working as a weather forecaster at the Ontario Weather Centre in Toronto that he became interested in the study of tornadoes. While giving a weather commentary on CBC radio in 1974, he was asked questions about the high-impact tornado that struck Windsor on April 3rd of that year, and about Canadian tornado characteristics in general such as their frequency, intensity, the damage they have caused, and other properties. Not having a ready response, he promised to provide the answers - expecting to find them in published works. To his surprise, very little was known about tornadoes in Canada. It took him the next decade to research the topic, often on his own time. The final result was a large database of archival material dating back to the late 1700s. Along the way, helped by volunteers, he conducted many field surveys of tornado damage, authored a number of published academic papers and magazine articles, and gave conference presentations and TV and newspaper interviews. This pioneering work on tornadoes in Canada was recognized in 2019 when he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. We celebrate the work of Michael Newark by naming this online digital tornado archive after him.