Tornado tunnel funded

It has been recently announced that The University of Western Ontario (UWO), in affiliation with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), has received funding to build the first wind tunnel that will simulate a tornado.

The Canadian Foundation for Innovation has confirmed funding of $9.5 million, to build the WindEEE (Wind Engineering, Energy and Environment) Dome.

This Dome will be the world’s first six-sided wind tunnel able to simulate an F3 tornado, according to the ICLR.

WindEEE will do this by using a series of giant fans to simulate an F3 tornado roughly six metres in size.

This facility will be able to test the vulnerabilities of power lines, structures, forests, agricultural crops, and wind turbines against the swirling winds associated with tornadoes. They will also be able to test the powerful winds resulting from downdrafts.

The dome could be used to track the spread of pollutants over wide areas.

The construction of the facility is anticipated to begin in a year, with operation starting a year or two later.

The ICLR fully supports the WindEEE Dome project. This project is believed to fill a void in the area of wind engineering research.

The ICLR and UWO and have been working with the wind engineering team at the UWO for a number of years.

The insurance answer to a tornado is that yes, wind is usually a covered peril, even when it is consider an "Act of God". Understanding ways to minimize the severity of tornadoes, will help to reduce claims costs and hopefully save lives.