September 5th 1969 Grant County Minnesota Tornado

While digging through some old files, I found this "official synopsis" of the 9-05-69 Minnesota event near Elbow Lake. It includes an incredible structure shot my dad took, an official response from the Department of Commerce (Earl Kuenast for you old-school climatologists), and a newspaper article from the Grant County Herald. Supposedly the photo plus an article was featured in the Minneapolis Star newspaper in 1969 also but I have never been able to locate it.

I'm sure everyone will find this entertaining to read. Keep in mind this was almost 37 years ago....we sure have come a long way in our understanding of the mechanics needed for a tornadic super cell.


Wow - cool ... first of all, that really is a cool photo. It really does show great structure! ... Looks like there may even be a satellite vortex developing off to the left (or possibly an occluding funnel). I'm also curious about what's going on behind what looks like a new wall cloud behind those trees on the horizon.

I hope your family still has the original somewhere. I'd get that thing scanned and saved digitally. You may be able to use Photoshop to restore the photo completely and possibly bring out some of the detail in the cloud (dang, he even got the tornado reflecting in the lake - bet that could be brought out too - if you could, it would make this one of the most technically perfect tornado photos ever!)

The letter really is entertaining. Amazing how much has changed just within our lifetimes.

Your dad took that shot exactly one month to the day before I was born.

Awesome post, Bill - thanks for sharing that -