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Lake Superior Waterspout Near Park Point Confirmed as First Recorded Tornado in Duluth / Superior


The waterspout that appeared over Lake Superior off of Park Point on Thursday (August 9) proved to be a historic phenomenon for the Twin Ports.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornadic waterspout developed around 11 am roughly 2 miles offshore from Park Point as a part of a thunderstorm moving over the lake toward the Twin Ports. The waterspout made landfall as an EF-0 tornado on Park Point (Duluth), crossing the point and reaching Barker’s Island on the Superior shoreline before dissipating around 11:20 am.

Tornado Path – Yellow Line (Courtesy National Weather Service)


The NWS Report cites eyewitnesses who saw a couple of float plane pontoons briefly lifted and set back down (not moved) at Sky Harbor. No damage was reported from the tornado/waterspout.

This tornado is historical in nature for the Twin Ports, being the first recorded tornado within the borders of both Duluth and Superior. Prior to this event, no tornadoes had touched down in either city in the 150 years of weather records kept for the area.

An EF-0 tornado, like the one that made landfall on August 9th here in the Twin Ports has wind speeds between 65 and 85 miles per hour. This type of tornado generally causes little damage.

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