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.
Normally, a team of trained investigators could be dispatched to the site of a reported tornado to assess the damage on the ground and determine whether a tornado or other wind event such as a downburst occurred. Physical distancing requirements will make that more challenging this year, so crowdsourced reports and images like the home security footage from Saanich will be more important than ever.
More from digital editor @xela.explores on cangeo.ca
#tornado #tornadowarning #tornadoseason #canadiantornadoes #northerntornadoproject #citizenscience