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Halifax teen develops an algorithm that could predict tornadoes days in advance

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By Nathan Coleman
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 8:32 AM

It's a science fair project that could potentially save lives.

Seventeen-year-old Robert Macdonald is just a regular Halifax teen—except for the fact that he has developed an equation that could predict tornadoes days in advance, instead of hours.

Macdonald has been fascinated by tornadoes most of his life and has completed more than a dozen meteorology courses online.

The Halifax native studied the current way in which twisters are predicted and improved it by taking into account new parameters like surface moisture.

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The new equation can predict tornadoes days in advance, according to Macdonald.

His work has earned him a gold medal at the Canada-wide science fair in May as well as a medal at the Halifax level.

According to Macdonald, his algorithm was tested this tornado season with consistent results.

"It's great young minds taking an interest in severe weather," said Dayna Vettese, meteorologist at The Weather Network. "This type of thinking shows that he definitely has great potential doing research in the field."

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