1971-06-09 TX Panhandle Tornado

Mar 6, 2006
Amarillo, TX
This is from an old polaroid picture my grandma took on June 9th, 1971 from near Stinnett, TX (about 50 NE of Ama) on her ranch. Pretty sure this is the same day the famous "Sunray" tornado. This tornado may also had been from the same storm that later produced TX's largest tornado on record (2 miles wide) near Gruver later that evening. Some data on this event can be found here at http://bangladeshtornadoes.org/UScases/060971/060971pth.gif. I had always thought this was just distant picture of the "Sunray" tornado, but it seems way to close in the picture to have been over half a county away near Sunray in Moore County. After looking at the data I believe this tornado is not represented on that chart, because of where she was located and the direction she is looking. She had taken a second picture but it was pretty blurry. In the second picture it looked as though the right side of the wall cloud was very close to touching as well, so it may have produced a double tornado.

We had the image of the poloraid enlarge years ago, but the other day I just took a picture of the picture with my camera so I would have a digital copy. My grandma told me that while she took this picture, they were in their back pasture helping a cow have a calf. She also said, my granddad seemed much more concerned about what was happeneing to the cow than what the tornado was doing. It sure would be nice to see one of these this year.


Enzo Todesco

This photo is very impressive for 1971!:cool: That's a document to keep preciously!

Cordially, Enzo.
PS: Excuse my bad English (I'm french...)
Dec 21, 2003
Udbyhoj, DK
Re-opened thread The Sunray tornado has been bugging me today, because people refer to it as something special, but I can't find any reference as to why. I know there were some giant tornadoes on this day, including this tornado. It seems there were chasers on it, so maybe it was very photogenic. I would love to hear stories!