When Thunder Roars!

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

The sultry days of summer have faded, but the season of powerful electrical storms is not over in Oakland County, or for the rest of our Great Lake State. Nature’s way does not always follow the calendar and in the last few weeks I’ve witnessed boaters on our local lakes pursuing their passion as thunder was clearly audible, picnickers waiting out a storm under an open picnic shelter instead of retreating to their cars (a much safer option), and most worrisome, kids playing sports in fields to the accompaniment of not so distant thunder. Continue reading

Oakland County Twisters: A Historical Guide

A large two-story home with large, moving clouds above it. The sky is darkening and it appears that bad weather is on its way.

If you’re fascinated by weather, you’ll love our Tornadoes Map, created with data from local weather geek Matt Malone by Oakland County’s award-winning GIS team. It shows a limited history of the tornado paths and touchdown points, and their EF scale ratings, from 1953 – 2015. Go back to July of 1957, and view the path of an EF4 tornado that traveled 29.9 miles, almost all the way across the southern portion of Oakland County. In 1998, a funnel was spotted after having touched down near Otter Road and Sylvan Lake. It lifted without causing any damage – what a relief! Click on the map to learn more and get details on twisters that touched down here in the past.

A screenshot of a GIS Map of tornado paths and starting/touchdown points in Oakland County, Michigan ca. 1953-2015. Data provided by NOAA, OCIT, and Matt Malone of Farmington Hills GIS. Continue reading