Northern Tornadoes Project

Saving people and property

Northern Tornadoes Project

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 (NTP). With a goal of detecting and analyzing every tornado in Canada, project leads, Greg Kopp and David Sills know findings will save lives, mitigate losses and strengthen our understanding of severe storm activity.

The NTP began in 2017 with a pilot study to conduct aerial analyses of storm damage in remote, unpopulated areas of northern Ontario. Its recent expansion is a result of a $6.4-million investment from ImpactWX, a Toronto-based social impact fund that also funded the initial research. Combined with previous giving, and $2.5 million from Western to endow the ImpactWX Chair in Severe Storms Engineering, the combined total investment in tornado research at Western is more than $10 million.

This investment is providing the resources to acquire satellite and radar imagery and to assemble a team of experts to go coast-to-coast, tracking tornadoes.

With additional support from a public database based at Western Libraries, the project looks to improve the science of predicting and assessing storms, and ultimately to reduce the toll they take on people and property.

Northern Tornadoes Project Leaders


Greg Kopp,Lead Reseacher

David Sills,Executive Director


This article appeared in the Fall 2019 edition of Alumni Gazette