Tornadoes in Google Earth

With storms again ripping through the country, many of us are on the lookout for tornadoes. While it can’t help you prepare for one, Tornado Paths, created by Perry Samson at the University of Michigan, is a great way to view the locations and paths of past storms.

By default it shows all of the tornadoes that have hit the United States in the past 48 hours, but it has a few other nifty features.

• View “Today in History“, which shows all of the tornadoes that have struck on today’s date in the past 61 years.

• Use the search box to let you see all of the tornadoes that have struck a particular zip code since 1950. Very interesting stuff! For example, I now know that a 1986 tornado came within a few hundred meters of our current house.


Of course, it makes excellent use of Google Earth too. By clicking the “View in Google Earth link from the home page, you can view the most recent tornadoes in Google Earth.


As you can see, the tornadoes have a nice 3D semi-transparent affect, and some cows flying around nearby in an apparent homage to the classic movie “Twister”.

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