Weather Permitting: The Impact of Tornado on Minnesotan’s Life





Weather Permitting: The Impact of Tornado on Minnesotan’s Life


  1. Introduction
    1. Is there a prevalence of Tornado occurrence n Minnesota? The answer is yes. Until I visited the Minnesota History Center, I had no idea that tornados were a common phenomenon in the region. My first thought is that the occurrences had been subjected to sporadic periods in history without much effect.
    2. Thesis: Understanding the weather patterns, shifts, and historical accounts of tornadoes in Minnesota is beneficial towards the people’s lives and planning for crisis management
  2. The Minnesota History Center
    1. Facts about History Center Building according to my visit at the capital
      1. Information and guided appreciation of the building
      2. The location, architecture and construction style
      3. Dimension of the scenes, arrangement, and access.
    2. Focus on Exhibit after deciding the one to visit.
      1. The natural phenomena of the experience at the Minnesota History Centre
      2. Ingenious arrays
      3. Highlight of the exhibit focus includes the artifacts, hands-on activities, multimedia shows, and photographs responsible for delivery of exploration of the weather.
      4. The delivery of Weather ball as a downtown landmark and a common vocabulary
  • Weather Permitting
    1. Greatest destruction in Minnesota
      1. ‘A Vast Inland Sea’ and the experiences of Laurel Reuter
      2. Cold and exhaustion, water-saturated lands
      3. Sever outage of power and evacuation
    2. Resultant effects of weather changes
      1. Heat wave in Minnesota in summer of 1936
      2. Temperatures recorded above 100 degrees
      3. Prevalence of cities and outdoor sleeping
    3. Weather extremes and hampers of daily activities
      1. Precipitation ability of other weather determinants
      2. Disruption of snow, hail, and sleet
      3. Below-freezing point temperatures emigrated from the mountain belts and tops
    4. Recurrent theme of fires from initial settlement
      1. Fires in the 19th and 20th centuries
      2. Effect of the winds on dry lands
      3. Devastation and destructive force
    5. Most powerful storms on earth
      1. Existence is marked between the period of early summer and late spring.
      2. Variations and statistics
    6. Variations of strengths and physical attributes
      1. Speeds of over hundred and fifty mile per hour
      2. Dissipation levels and phasing after impact
    7. Cyclonic rotation of tornados
      1. Clockwise motion in the northern hemisphere
      2. Rossby numbers of magnitude and influence
      3. Ambient environments, rotational complexes
    8. Emission of acoustic spectrums
      1. Reminiscent sounds and associated indications
      2. Atmospheric conditions, topography and emanating sources
      3. Propagation of irregular noises and distances
    9. Transmission and effects to other phenomena
      1. Effects in form of E-field and sferics
      2. Baselines increases, cloud ground activities and the effect from lightning and its actions.
      3. Broken lines in the external sources of light
    10. Reasons to Learn about Minnesota History and Tornadoes
      1. Storm prevention and disaster preparedness attitude
      2. Addressing results from devastation, destruction, and damages through infrastructure, property, and lives.
    11. Conclusion: with limited references and statistical


Tornadoes constitute mobile and destructive rotating winds in a violent nature and vortex circumstance, which have a funnel-shaped appearance cloud. They are in a manner of approaching advancement towards landforms from a large system of a storm and are usually referred to as cyclones or twisters depending on the source as well as low-pressure circulation. They have power attainment that can make them cover dozen miles on ground, thereby causing severe damage to property and infrastructure a well as loss of lives. Various measures are used to determine the strengths of tornadoes after their occurrences as means of substantiating the ratings towards the subsequent effects on land. The common rating is established through Fujita Scale. Minnesota is one of the leading regions in the United States with historical accounts of tornadoes as evidenced with the visit to Historical Center. Displayed memorabilia, information sources, and credited historical accounts are provided for the sake of the public and educative measures. Understanding the weather patterns, shifts, and historical accounts of tornadoes in Minnesota is beneficial towards the people’s lives and planning for crisis management.

The Minnesota History Center

Facts about History Center Building

Minnesota History center enables an informative, guided and appreciation deliberation of the historical utilities in its premise. The architecture on display is of utter mastery as depicted by the choice in materials and construction routines (Minnesota Historical Society 1). For example, the building is predominantly constructed from travertine limestone together with granite in an alternating basis. In additional a created horizontal pattern is achieved from the interlocking architectural delivery with encrusted artwork in the shape of a broken charm bracelet (Smith, Site Visit). The materials used include bronze and shiny alloys of pure metals. The scope of informative depiction is viewed with evidence of artwork carefully placed within each available space and demarcated zones according to the relevance of the entity. Dimension of the scenes are then deliberated in the manner of logical arrangement throughout the historical center with ease of access. The exhibits are therefore authentic and definitive to use when enabling a considered research on Minnesota’s natural phenomena.

Focus on Exhibit

The visit to Minnesota Historical Centre was based on the natural phenomena experienced all through the years. The Weather Permitting exhibit is responsible for the articulation of weather experiences from historical periods and the manner of dealing with the adverse effects. The notable activities point to the dressing choice of the Minnesota people, their battles, and address on notable moments together with the survival strategies at the time. The exhibit focus is responsible for delivery of theater seasons and the citizens’ ways of coping with perpetual lows and highs especially when dealing with the tornadoes and other natural phenomena associated with destructive effects (Smith, Site Visit). Ingenious arrays alluded to the environmental settings and collection of the society’s drawings and relevant deliveries are contained. In addition, much of the time spent was used in representing the rituals, ordeals, memories of the historical weather patterns with seasoned mannequins. They are detailed in the allocated spaces and architectural utilities.

The major highlight of the exhibit focus includes the artifacts, hands-on activities, multimedia shows, and photographs responsible for delivery of exploration of the weather. The aim of the exhibit depicts the weather’s impacts on people’s lives in Minnesota from historical periods to the present day. It also facilitates additional exploration into the experiences as told by witnesses and survivors of the periods (Smith, Site Visit). Some of the highlights we experienced once we visited the exhibit were the recreated tornadoes of 1960 at the “Get to the Basement.” The use of multimedia depiction was a spectacle that had all the attendants in awe as well as the show of evoked memories were detailed in 1965 at Fridley. The delivery of Weather ball as a downtown landmark and a common vocabulary amongst the locals was also explained while peeks into houses used for vintage ice fishing explored the charm within.        

Weather Permitting

Tornados in Minnesota cause the greatest destruction in Minnesota. In the exhibition depicted by ‘A Vast Inland Sea’, the experiences of Laurel Reuter provides for the devastative nature of the effects of a tornado in the confines of the people’s homes as expressed by Miller (1). Apart from cold and exhaustion, water-saturated lands were the common sight after the havoc had been caused on the land. Other precipitants that was responsible for the inhabitable moments at the residential places of survivors included ice and snow to extended depths. Sever outage of power had to be contained by the people with canceled work a surety as well as education facilities being phased off from anyone’s reach. The icy waters caused several electric fires when the gutting into cores of the old city was penetrated. There had to be evacuation from the residential places while forced temporary shelters were put up. Various measures could be witnessed in the aftermath in terms of rebuilding and acceptance of both public and private lives.

A resultant effect of the severe weather changes and occurrences of the tornadoes is the heat wave and droughts. During the summer of 1936, historical facts accounted for the greatest heat wave in Minnesota (Nehil 1). The temperatures recorded were above a hundred degrees for the extended periods with some soaring into a hundred and six or eight at varied timeframes of the days. Air conditioning was scarce for majority of the Minnesota people as sweating was profuse for close to thirteen days as experienced at the coast guard station or the harbor. At the cities, it was more prevalent since the pavements and concrete surfaces intensified the hating of the air to super-heightened levels. Miller provides confirmation to statistics, which state that majority of the residents, preferred sleeping outdoors as measures of dealing with the heat waves as gravitational tendencies towards the city’s lakeshores were witnessed (1). In the latter, cooling was the key factor and maintenance of par degree levels.

Tornados are responsible for weather extremes and hampering of daily activities for the people in Minnesota. In the particular year of the heat waves, extremes recorded hampered the precipitation ability of other weather determinants. For example, due to the maintenance of higher degrees in heat and severe temperature rises, rainfall could not be generated from the geographical enablement and location of the moving winds. According to Smith (1), within prolonged thirteen-day periods, snow, hail, sleet, and minimal precipitates of frontal margins enabled a reduced atmosphere especially on the temperature. In addition, the below-freezing point temperatures emigrated from the mountain belts and tops facilitated the relative cooling of the temperatures. It was much to the relief of the people as the heat waves had disrupted all the daily activities and national development. Apart from the outdoor resting and sleeping patterns, some of the religious inclinations deliberated on praying for rain as a first solution to the uncontrollable weather conditions.

A recurrent theme of fire is attributed to indifferent weather patterns. In the Weather Permitting exhibition focus, fires in the 19th and 20th centuries are depicted through the extreme conditions (Smith 1). At the initial stages of settlements, fires and smokes enabled a clearance mechanism in order to acquire space and room for development. In Minnesota, there were various measures used in clearance of the land apart from fire and smoke at it necessitated the railroad construction (Miller 1). However, the parks fro the tracks sent into the air were responsible for the creation of fire with aided effect of the winds on dry lands. In addition, affected lands on the countryside, which had wooden houses, sidewalks, accumulated lumber were all inclusive. The scorching hurricanes of flames destroyed numerous properties within square miles at a faster rate while loss of lives was recorded. It also included injuries to others while barns were affected in similar circumstances.

Tornados account for the most powerful storms on earth. Due to their existence and devastating effects, they are fascinating, intriguing, frightening and deadly by all means. In the United States, they are rare as compared to other nations that experience them on constant basis. However, their existence is marked between the period of early summer and late spring. The conditions responsible for tornado production include humidity, warmth, and coinciding strong winds at particular directions. In Minnesota, characteristic occurrence of the tornados is usually associated between the months of May to July (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 1). The greatest frequency is bestowed during the month of June while the repetitive nature can be traced between March and November. Variation in terms of numbers is enlisted at the exhibition with the figures showing that seventy-four in the year 2001 while the most recent ones were sixteen in the same year.

Variations in terms of the strengths in tornados are reminiscent of the physical attributes that facilitate their creation. Similarly, they are experienced in varied shapes and sizes according to the origin patterns and sources of arising factors like topography, wind speed, cumulative precipitants at the time (Schuh 14-15). Typical tornados are recorded as having speeds of up to a hundred and fifty mile per hour while the width experienced points to seven hundred feet. The speed recorded is over the forty miles per hour range in widths of five miles and attributed landscapes that cover between fifty to two hundred and fifty paths in miles (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 1). Subsequently, the tornadoes then dissipate shortly afterwards when the strength h as phased down and the width has significantly reduced. Extreme measures bar the length of twisters into seconds, causing wanton damages to property and lives along the paths without any warning. Disappearance is almost immediate after the effects.

The cyclonic rotation of tornados enables their strength acquisition and coverage over distances, thereby causing destructive ability. When viewed from above, it is a clockwise motion in the northern hemisphere, while in the southern it is anticlockwise. The Coriolis Effect is associated with large-scale capacities of tornadoes, capable of causing thunderstorms (Schuh 14-15). The smaller ones cannot indicate the Rossby numbers of magnitude since the influence I not felt at direct levels. When the effect is neglected over a shorter distance, tornadoes and supercells also rotate in a cyclonic motion and their numerical simulations are negligent. In the ambient environments, rotational complexes are therefore attributed by low-level meso-cyclones. The weaknesses are then maintained in a descending rear flank as a down draft while the typical cyclonic measure includes the drastic force capable of causing damage. It is more particular in the northern hemisphere as opposed to the southern regions despite similarly in the conditions overall.

Multiple mechanisms are responsible for wide emission of the acoustic spectrums and varied sounds. Whooshing roars can be felt, similar to familiar sounds as evidenced by the witnesses in variations. Proper reports enable understanding of freight trains, rapids in rushing manner, waterfalls, or jet engines at nearby distances as reminiscent of the tornado activity (Schuh 14-15). In other instances, combination of such sounds is also delivered due to the vortex action of the winds amidst the circulation. They depend on the atmospheric conditions, topography of the surrounding land mass, distances between the emanating source of tornado and the adjacent barriers as well as propagation mechanisms. Interaction of the air flows and surface debris as well as turbulence can cause divergent emissions of the tornado from distances and witness accounts. Other times, the tornados can propagate irregular noises or inaudible forms of sonic especially with the effort used in covering large distances. In other instances, the silence does not raise awareness for prevention needs.

The transmission of electromagnetic spectrum has contained effects in form of E-field and sferics. With the patterns on tornados, correlations can be traced to lightning. The storms associated with tornados do not posses greater lightning as compared to other kinds especially those with tornadic cells. Once the tornados reach the surfaces, the return to the baselines increases the cloud to ground activity of the lightning once it lifts. Austen (1) argues that positive polarity discharges are common with anomalous dominance of the intense thunderstorms and tornadoes like the ones exhibited in 1965 Minnesota. The discharges are usually positive and can be attributed to the electromagnetic ability in association to the environment and phenomena surrounding the storm created. When there are broken lines in the external sources of light, luminous deliveries can be witnessed through misidentification and the power flashes once the storms are in flow. The internal sources can be exhibited with the broken lines.

Reasons to Learn about Minnesota History and Tornadoes

It is important for the people of Minnesota in learning and acquiring sufficient information about the occurrences of tornados and their factors’ contribution. The main objective is in creating a storm prevention and disaster preparedness attitude in the people’s mindset. Minnesota has been a predominant region facing the wrath of storms created by destructive tornados over the years especially with the seasonal drift in spring as the shift enters winter and fall. The gulf moisture, which is warm, increases as the approach towards the central part of the region is achieved. The contrast with colder air from the north and North West strategically places Minnesota as a clear target and transverse are for the action of its movement (Schuh 14-15). Therefore, all available and researched information is very crucial for the preparedness of the people in Minnesota in order to prevent loss of lives, property, and valuables during the course of the transportation.

The activities of tornados associated with hurricanes can be minimized in terms of their effects towards infrastructure, property, and people’s lives through preventive measures and preparedness. For example, during the periods of between March and June, the residents of Minnesota can prepare for any imminent attack with building of safety shelters for all the varied populations in the areas. According to Park (14), it will also provide for preventive preparedness through fortifying of their houses and residential amenities due to the impact of the tornados in cyclonic motion once they approach the landmasses and spread their span on the widths. Consequently, armed with detailed information of possible timings and probable target regions, the Minnesota people can plan on possible evacuation strategies into the safer regions as means of minimizing any probability of lives lost. The authorities can also execute standard procedures aimed at ensuring responses of emergency services, access zones and power outages can be covered at the quickest time possible.


Understanding the weather patterns, shifts, and historical accounts of tornadoes in Minnesota is beneficial towards the people’s lives and planning for crisis management. Minnesota has been a prime region facing the rage of storms created by harsh tornados over the years, especially with the seasonal waft in spring as the shift enters winter and fall. The gulf moisture, which is warm, increases as the approach towards the central part of the region is achieved. The contrast with colder air from the north and North West strategically places Minnesota as a clear target and transverse are for the action of its movement. All efforts aimed at minimizing effects towards infrastructure, property, and people’s lives through preventive measures and preparedness can be achieved by the Minnesota people, if the information is sufficient and backed by research statistics.


Works Cited:

Austen, Jake. “Storm Kings.” Review of Storm Kings, by Lee Sandlin. Chicago Tribune 15 March 2013. Print.

Miller, Phil. Blue earth County, Minnesota Tornado from August 13, 2010. MarketPBG. Web. 23 July 2015. < >

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Minnesota Tornado History and Statistics. DNR. Web. 23 July 2015. < >

Minnesota Historical Society. Weather Permitting. MHC Web. 23 July 2015. < >

Mogil, H M. Extreme Weather: Understanding the Science of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Floods, Heat Waves, Snow Storms, Global Warming and Other Atmospheric Disturbances. New York, NY: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2007. Print.

Nehil, Tom. A Brief History of Tornadoes in Minnesota. MinnPost 15 April 2013. Web. 23 July 2015. < >

Park, Mac. Tornados. Elwood, Vic; Gosford, N.S.W: Lemonfizz Media; Scholastic, 2010. Print.

Schuh, Mari C. Tornados =: Tornadoes. Mankato, Minn: Capstone Press/Pebble Plus Books, 2011. Print.

Simon, Brendan. “Dangerous planet: the Science of Natural Disasters.” Southern Connecticut University Journal 1, (2011): 17-26. Print.

Smith, Brian. SVRGIS Storm Prediction Center, Norman, OK. SPC. Web. 23 July 2015. < >

Smith, Tom. Personal Visit: July 23, 2015. Minnesota Historical Society, 234 Summit Avenue. St. Paul, MN.


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