Strong Thunderstorm – Rockford, MI 6/8/15

After missing out on storms all day, I took a chance on a small rain shower with associated outflow boundary in the evening. This was part of a failed attempt that a storm made, trying to cross Lake Michigan. We were under the influence of a “lake shadow” most of the day. This also meant that our atmosphere hand’t been worked over by any convection, and there was still some instability around.

I was on my way westward to pick up a boat I found on Craigslist for fishing, and on my way there, this once small shower, turned into a full fledged thunderstorm. Though this storm never became severe, it was still a strong storm, packing strong wind gusts, small hail, heavy rainfall and lightning. The structure wasn’t half bad either! A nice treat for a day when I thought I wasn’t going to see anything. This storm quickly died after sunset.

I chased it south a few miles into the Rockford, MI area. It was moving pretty fast, so I couldn’t stay out ahead of it. I let it overtake me on a paved country road with fields all around so I had a decent view. Below you will see the video which shows the sheets of rain and small hail coming down hard with the strong winds, along with a collection of photos of this storm, and also a beautiful reddish colored rainbow and sunset after the storm had passed. The sunset was absolutely stunning! A few other people pulled off to the side of the road to photograph it with me too. This would be the only photogenic storm I experienced in the entire month of June. It’s been a slow season in 2015 for me in Michigan.

Chuck Russell

I shoot photos and videos of various different types of events related to weather, nature, motorsports, breaking news, and more and share what I capture with the world at

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