Tornadoes and Mobile Homes: My Masters Thesis Revisited

Tornadoes x Mobile Homes

Tornadoes and Mobile Homes: My Masters Thesis Revisited. Tornado Events (1950-2013) per square kilometer.

“You young whippersnappers have no idea how much easier getting map data is today. Back in my day, it took FOREVER to digitize tornado tracks from a book for just nine states for a period of 31 years. Well, tonight, I clicked one button on the NWS website and POOF! Every tornado of the past 64 years appeared. Now, get off my lawn!”

My masters thesis (http://bit.ly/NUDx0V) compared 30 years of tornado tracks F3 and above to locations of mobile homes in nine southeastern states. It produced no statistically significant correlation, and took me around 14 months to do because the tornado data was not digitized and relevant Census data at the time was a pain in the neck to deal with.

Tornado Density

Mobile Home Density

The availability of data today is just crazy. I downloaded a 64 year national database of all tornadoes at all magnitudes in about five seconds tonight.

So, just to play around, I recreated three maps from that project complete with the new temporal and spatial coverage… and I did so in about an hour. Most of that time was finding my basemap data.

Author: Andrew Shears

Andrew Shears is an Assistant Professor of Geography at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. His research interests lie at an intersection of the human-environmental nexus, and includes branches of mapping, technological, memorialization and urban geographies. He lives in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania with his wife Amy, a professional photographer.