Six decades of Tornado tracks visualised in one incredible map

Whilst this visualization was produced in 2012, it’s one that needs to be seen over and over.

Using six decades worth of data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA – Storm prediction Center – SPC), designer John Nelson has produced a quite remarkable visualisation of Tornado tracks in the United States – see below.

Photo credit: John Nelson

The visualisation above illustrates sixty one years of Tornado tracks along with a host of attributed information – injury, death etc.

Included is the horrendous Tornado season of 2011.

The tracks in the above visualization – illustrated as lines – are categorised by the Fujita-scale (F-scale)1.  

1: When this visualization was produced, the F-scale rating was being used. However, that rating scale is now outdated.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale aka EF-Scale is now being used to rate the power of a Tornado. You can find out more about the EF-scale here.

It’s safe to suggest where the brighter lines are in the map represent the more violent storms. 

We could look at this for hours! Poor Oklahoma. You can find more of Nelson’s incredible work here.

What Tornado? Sweetheart, the grass needs to be cut


Introducing Theunis Wessels, who is just cutting his grass on a Friday evening.

Normal right! Nothing at all going on at all. Cutting the grass had been on the Canadian’s to-do (chore) list for a while.

So, Wessels decided to cut the grass on Friday – best time to check off the chore – said his wife, Cecilia Wessels in an interview with Buzzfeed.

Photo credit: Canada Tornado Alberta Lawnmowing Man Defies Twister

In the interview with Buzzfeed, Wessels said that she was sleeping when her nine year old daughter woke her up scared…

…What was the little girl scared of? An breathtaking and photogenic Tornado outside the family’s home in Alberta1, Canada.

1: Three Hills, Alberta to be exact.

Wessels said that she looked out the window and saw her husband and this absolutely normal scene – the complete “epitome of this is fine”.

Photo credit: Turf Matters (seems appropriate)

FYI: The family moved from South Africa to Canada almost a decade ago.

Wessels stated that her husband was calm because he attended a seminar led by Tornado Hunters very own, Greg Johnson.

Wessels specified (during the interview) that she actually took the photo to show her parents in South Africa what a Tornado looked like.

However, when she posted the photo to Facebook, with the caption “my beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hard”.

Everyone (shockingly – not really) had the same question: “Why is your husband mowing the lawn?”

Whist this (see in video below) is happening…

Wessels suggested that the Tornado was not as close as it appears to be in the photo and was moving away from the house.

In the general public’s eyes, Nope, Nope, Nope. In our eyes, YES! YES! YES. We love absolutely everything about this photo – including the memes.