8 Minutes: Bradley Air Museum and the 1979 Windsor Locks Tornado

October 3, 1979: Ruin

The weather on that fateful day was cloudy and drizzly, but not out of the ordinary. Tornadoes were the last thing on anyone’s mind, as they almost never occurred this late in the year.

By that afternoon, however, a violent thunderstorm brought sheets of rain and high winds, and just before 3pm, a funnel cloud formed in or just south of the Farmington River.

The National Weather Service office at the airport issued a severe thunderstorm warning but said nothing about tornadoes. The unusual meteorological conditions that day caused the tornado to form quickly and remain on the ground for a very short time, and the heavy rain and low, fast moving clouds made the actual funnel nearly impossible to see on radar or with the naked eye. Once spawned, it moved quickly into Poquonock, a village in the northern area of Windsor.

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