We’ve teamed up with Prairie Storm Chasers to attempt to capture data from inside a Canadian tornado for the first time.

Campbell Scientific Canada and Prairie Storm Chasers plan to put the first ever probe into a Canadian tornado with the goal of improving tornado forecasting and warning systems across the country. The probe, if successful, will capture valuable data that could be critical to improving extreme weather safety.

The two groups have been working together for three years, but 2017 is the first year they’ll attempt to put a probe inside a tornado. “We have a new vehicle in our fleet this year called The Dominator that allows us to get much closer to tornadoes than before,” said Nevin deMilliano of Prairie Storm Chasers. “We asked Campbell Scientific Canada to help us build a probe we can drop in the path of a tornado, and they jumped at the chance.” 

The probe, given the name TAZ-1 through a social media contest, is a heavy, low-profile saucer equipped to measure atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, air temperature, and relative humidity. There is also a 360 degree camera mounted on the top of the probe to capture footage from inside the heart of the tornado. 

The probe will accompany Prairie Storm Chasers across western Canada throughout the 2017 chasing season, and you can take in all the action by following Campbell Scientific Canada and Prairie Storm Chasers Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!