What you see in the lead image is courtesy of John Nelson, who took 56 years worth of tornado data (in the United States) and created the awesome-yet-frightening map that charts the path of every tornado that was reported in the timespan in question. The result is what you see above, otherwise known as an infographic that’s actually useful and not a reach for viral status.
Of course, Nelson’s map is, in and of itself viral, but that’s not the reason he created it. Judging by his blog’s title–IDV User Experience–which focuses on visualizing geospatial data, this kind of data is of genuine interest to him. As for the map, the neon blue represents the stronger tornados, while the dark purple tracks indicate weaker ones. Based on Nelson’s data, it’s easy to see that the west coast is the place to be if you want to avoid tornados.
Furthermore, “Tornado Alley” is not restricted to the midwest states. Truth be told, the “alley” starts in the midwest and extends all the way to Florida and the rest of the eastern seaboard, save upper northeast. Granted, the intensity decreases as you move away from states like Kansas and Nebraska, but but if you’re going east, you won’t easily escape the specter of a tornado.
There’s a much larger image of the map if you’d like to make a closer inspection. When viewed at its natural size, the neon blue of F5 tornados is much easier to make out.[Via GeekOSystem]