Northern Tornadoes Project. Annual Report 2021 v2
The Northern Tornado Project’s third year of detecting, assessing and documenting tornadoes and other damaging wind events across Canada saw some interesting extremes – tornadoes in parts of both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts for the first time in decades, an apparent absence of tornadoes on the Prairies over the 60 days with the highest climatological frequency, a record number of significant (EF2+) tornadoes in Ontario, and massive downbursts in NE British Columbia, NW Alberta and SW Northwest Territories associated with an historic ‘heat dome’.
On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic was still spreading across the country in waves. Thankfully, it subsided enough over the summer that NTP teams were able to travel safely to various locations across the country for ground surveys. Some of the most challenging ground surveys investigated high-impact damage from the July 15th EF2 Barrie, Ontario tornado, and others significant tornadoes from that day.
Since 2019, founding partners Western University and ImpactWX, in conjunction with other partners and collaborators, have been undertaking the most comprehensive tornado analyses ever made in Canada. In 2021, we were able to bring on new partners (Instant Weather, CatIQ) and new staff members (bilingual research assistant Francis Lavigne-Theriault, Western Libraries GIS Technical Specialist Jordan Fuller). We also sadly lost one of our external research partners, Arn Womble.
In addition, the public-facing Dashboard and Open Data Site have become more useful and user friendly. Together with our research, it is a step towards fulfilling our vision that Canadians are better informed about tornadoes and are able to better protect their homes and communities. We’ve also continued to be community driven. We initiated a "Super-Contributor" program to recognize our most active and knowledgeable contributors of social media reports and data (and rewarded them with stylish NTP ball caps!). We’ve made numerous media appearances, some national in scope, as well as given NTP talks to a number of different organizations. You’ll find the details in the pages of our annual report.