or jump right in, here: tornado.idvsolutions.com
So lots of questions surrounding the original tornado tracks map sent me back to the data a few times for some answers. Turns out, the very best way to interrogate the tornado tracks data set was to drop it into our viz software, where I could slice and dice it on the fly (rather than via a chain of queries in a GIS or as a universe of pivot tables in Excel) and see the results right then and there.
We plopped the source data (which is freely available at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/ and goes from 1950 through 2011) into SQL and put lots of criteria for filtering right in the web page so we/you could visualize whatever combination sounds interesting/useful.
Anyways, have at it...but be advised that it is a pretty big dataset so when you ask for every tornado in the past 61 years, it could take a moment. But it will be worth it!
Here are some things I was curious about, in no particular order. If you find something interesting, by all means share it and include the #tornadotracks tag in Twitter so we can see it too!
Every recorded tornado since 1950.
The terrible 2011 season.
A close-up of Joplin, showing how frequently tornadoes have passed through over the past 61 years. The track of 2011 is highlighted at right.
1974 was another particularly bad year for tornadoes. The rash moving north through the Midwest actually occurred over one day...
The night of April 3, 1974.
Tornadoes in New York? Not Manhattan, it turns out.
The most expensive (in terms of property damage) tornadoes since 1950. Here is every tornado that caused more than $50 million in property damage.
Every known F5 (or EF5) since 1950.