Severe WX April 4th-6th, 2022 Severe Weather Threat (6 Viewers)

Equus

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Sounds about right, excellent thorough survey. I was assuming closer to 170 not thinking the homes were built to the code that the modern EF scale demands but given the degree of clean sweep and decent but not extreme contextual indicators, that looks pretty good. Feels more like a 2007-2013 era analysis and rating.
 

buckeye05

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I've seen some people say they should have gone EF5 but since I haven't seen any solid contextual evidence of EF5 level winds such as total debarking of large trees or significant ground scouring, mid to high EF4 is probably the right call. Probably very similar in intensity to the 2008 Darien, GA EF4 tbh

I still stick to my previous point about the endless abuse of the lower bound value and "preliminary" ratings by some WFO's (*cough cough* Fort Worth and Austin) but it's good to know that some still have their head on straight, Arabi being another example of a thorough and properly executed survey.
Anyone saying this doesn’t understand the concept of contextual discrepancy. Since the single-family home DI maxes out at 200 MPH, contextual EF5 indicators are the determining factors that push the rating over the EF5 threshold. Many people (including myself when I was a teen) see a clean slab with bolts and immediately jump to “That’s EF5” without understanding the nuance of context.

I also really wish people who don’t know what they are talking about would quit hounding NWS Twitter accounts. It diminishes the already low credibility of “armchair surveyors”, and increases frustration and cynicism among NWS employees due to them dealing with an angry but uninformed public on social media. That’s got to be exhausting on their end.
 
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Sounds about right, excellent thorough survey. I was assuming closer to 170 not thinking the homes were built to the code that the modern EF scale demands but given the degree of clean sweep and decent but not extreme contextual indicators, that looks pretty good. Feels more like a 2007-2013 era analysis and rating.
Some areas looked like the tornado may have possibly reached EF5 intensity but the mid to high-end EF4 rating is certainly a good call. I just wonder how the people survived in that area as their houses were completely slabbed. I am glad they did survive. Unfortunately 1 person did die though but it wasn't in the most intense damage though.
 

TH2002

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Anyone saying this doesn’t understand the concept of contextual discrepancy. Since the single-family home DI maxes out at 200 MPH, contextual EF5 indicators are the determining factors that push the rating over the EF5 threshold. Many people (including myself when I was a teen) see a clean slab with bolts and immediately jump to “That’s EF5” without understanding the nuance of context.

I also really wish people who don’t know what they are talking about would quit hounding NWS Twitter accounts. It diminishes the already low credibility of “armchair surveyors”, and increases frustration and cynicism among NWS employees due to them dealing with an angry but uninformed public on social media. That’s got to be exhausting on their end.
I don't agree with the people who say it's a no-brainer EF5, I think anyone who says so is a bit misguided, and a tornado like this goes to show how important context is. Context being used to settle on a lower rating is often abused (need I remind everyone of Vilonia?), but I think it was valid in this case. I think it's also cases like Vilonia that give the overall idea of contextual downgrades a bad rep, even though it is the right call sometimes.
 

buckeye05

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Some areas looked like the tornado may have possibly reached EF5 intensity but the mid to high-end EF4 rating is certainly a good call. I just wonder how the people survived in that area as their houses were completely slabbed. I am glad they did survive. Unfortunately 1 person did die though but it wasn't in the most intense damage though.
How so? There’s literally zero contextual support for that claim. Even the worst debarking falls short of high-end EF4, and there was no scouring, extreme wind rowing, or remarkable vehicle damage of any kind. 185 is literally as high as they could go given the type of damage.
 
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How so? There’s literally zero contextual support for that claim. Even the worst debarking falls short of high-end EF4, and there was no scouring, extreme wind rowing, or remarkable vehicle damage of any kind. 185 is literally as high as they could go given the type of damage.
I didn't say the tornado was an EF5 I said it may have possibly reached EF5 intensity in a small area but of course it was only a tiny area but there was other context near the house was lacking it. I. I highly agree with the mid to high-end EF4 rating.
 

A Guy

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Anyone saying this doesn’t understand the concept of contextual discrepancy. Since the single-family home DI maxes out at 200 MPH, contextual EF5 indicators are the determining factors that push the rating over the EF5 threshold. Many people (including myself when I was a teen) see a clean slab with bolts and immediately jump to “That’s EF5” without understanding the nuance of context.

I also really wish people who don’t know what they are talking about would quit hounding NWS Twitter accounts. It diminishes the already low credibility of “armchair surveyors”, and increases frustration and cynicism among NWS employees due to them dealing with an angry but uninformed public on social media. That’s got to be exhausting on their end.
No it doesn't. 200 mph is actually the expected value, albeit apparently interpreted on an unreasonable expectation. The upper bound is 220.
 

UK_EF4

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I've seen some people say they should have gone EF5 but since I haven't seen any solid contextual evidence of EF5 level winds such as total debarking of large trees or significant ground scouring, mid to high EF4 is probably the right call. Probably very similar in intensity to the 2008 Darien, GA EF4 tbh

I still stick to my previous point about the endless abuse of the lower bound value and "preliminary" ratings by some WFO's (*cough cough* Fort Worth and Austin) but it's good to know that some still have their head on straight, Arabi being another example of a thorough and properly executed survey.
This may be a bit of a generalisation, but I find most/many SE based WFOs to be quite reasonable in their surveying overall. I can't really think of that many instances where context was used to downgrade but not upgrade, lower bound ratings were abused etc etc. Some people may argue Bassfield deserved an EF5 rating (and this is a whole other debate for another thread), but I personally would say that those tornadoes were surveyed very well and accurately.

I don't know if the Vilonia office counts as the South-East.
 

buckeye05

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No it doesn't. 200 mph is actually the expected value, albeit apparently interpreted on an unreasonable expectation. The upper bound is 220.
Yup you are right. I was meaning to say the expected value is 200 MPH, with context usually being the factor that bumps it up higher than that. This is what I’ve heard from multiple damage surveyors.
 

buckeye05

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This may be a bit of a generalisation, but I find most/many SE based WFOs to be quite reasonable in their surveying overall. I can't really think of that many instances where context was used to downgrade but not upgrade, lower bound ratings were abused etc etc. Some people may argue Bassfield deserved an EF5 rating (and this is a whole other debate for another thread), but I personally would say that those tornadoes were surveyed very well and accurately.

I don't know if the Vilonia office counts as the South-East.
Admittedly, I was in the “Bassfield should have been EF5” train until I got better “before” photos of the anchor-bolted cabin in question. They show a rather small, almost barn-like structure that many WFOs probably wouldn’t rate as high as 190 MPH.

That said, the insane tree and vehicle damage along Willie Fortenberry Rd absolutely screamed “winds exceeded 200 MPH here.” Had there been a well-built home along that brief stretch, I’m pretty confident we would have seen an EF5 rating there.
 

TH2002

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I don't know if the Vilonia office counts as the South-East.
Geography question that totally depends on who you ask, but to help you out a bit the Deep South states (MS, AL, GA, SC, FL and perhaps NC AND LA) could be considered southeast. NWS Little Rock (Arkansas as you know) is in a Southern state but I wouldn't consider them a part of the southeast.

I will agree the WFO's in that region do tend to do a better job at damage surveying than many of the WFO's in other states like TX and MO. Not sure what the reason for that is, but like you said that's entirely a topic for another thread.
 

buckeye05

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This may be a bit of a generalisation, but I find most/many SE based WFOs to be quite reasonable in their surveying overall. I can't really think of that many instances where context was used to downgrade but not upgrade, lower bound ratings were abused etc etc. Some people may argue Bassfield deserved an EF5 rating (and this is a whole other debate for another thread), but I personally would say that those tornadoes were surveyed very well and accurately.

I don't know if the Vilonia office counts as the South-East.
Memphis and Nashville are both SE offices imo, and utilize some of the most clueless survey teams in the US unfortunately. Memphis seems to be slightly better now (was kinda surprised they rated the December 2021 Tri-State tornado EF4). Nashville on the other hand seems to be getting worse. Their survey of the December 2021 Bowling Green, KY tornado is….questionable to say the least.
 
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Memphis and Nashville are both SE offices, and utilize some of the most clueless survey teams in the state unfortunately. Memphis seems to be slightly better now (was kinda surprised they rated the December 2021 Tri-State tornado EF4). Nashville on the other hand seems to be getting worse. Their survey of the December 2021 Bowling Green, KY tornado is….questionable to say the least.
Is that NWS Louisville, KY?
 

A Guy

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Yup you are right. I was meaning to say the expected value is 200 MPH, with context usually being the factor that bumps it up higher than that. This is what I’ve heard from multiple damage surveyors.
Except even leaving off the debate as to whether that interpretation is reasonable, we are not even seeing that interpretation used as the standard of residence required apparently doesn't actually exist, or at least is sufficiently rare that it is very unlikely to be encountered.

I have a lot of trouble with the idea that these ratings are robust and scientific for these kinds of reasons. Can you name a residence that has been rated >205 mph (Hackleburg) even with screaming contextual evidence? And I have doubts that even that rating would have been given today, the use of contextual evidence being almost completely asymmetric. It appears as if 180-odd is being treated as the expected value and 200-205 as the upper bound.
 
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Except even leaving off the debate as to whether that interpretation is reasonable, we are not even seeing that interpretation used as the standard of residence required apparently doesn't actually exist, or at least is sufficiently rare that it is very unlikely to be encountered.

I have a lot of trouble with the idea that these ratings are robust and scientific for these kinds of reasons. Can you name a residence that has been rated >205 mph (Hackleburg) even with screaming contextual evidence? And I have doubts that even that rating would have been given today, the use of contextual evidence being almost completely asymmetric. Yet the upper bound is 220.
Yes, in a way you are right. However NWS Des Moines and NWS Charleston are probably are best NWS offices in the country though they are not perfect. The Pembroke tornado may have likely not got an EF4 rating in other parts of the country.
 

buckeye05

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Except even leaving off the debate as to whether that interpretation is reasonable, we are not even seeing that interpretation used as the standard of residence required apparently doesn't actually exist, or at least is sufficiently rare that it is very unlikely to be encountered.

I have a lot of trouble with the idea that these ratings are robust and scientific for these kinds of reasons. Can you name a residence that has been rated >205 mph (Hackleburg) even with screaming contextual evidence? And I have doubts that even that rating would have been given today, the use of contextual evidence being almost completely asymmetric. It appears as if 180-odd is being treated as the expected value and 200-205 as the upper bound.
Absolutely. I have so many questions I don’t have answers to, like why call it the expected value if the lower bound is being used as the expected value instead? Why do surveyors give themselves permission to break the rules by doing things like this, or even going down below the lower bound?

Why is nobody being held accountable for what is essentially “rogue” surveying?
 
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Absolutely. I have so many questions I don’t have answers to, like why call it the expected value if the lower bound is being used as the expected value instead? Why do surveyors give themselves permission to break the rules by doing things like this, or even going down below the lower bound?

Why is nobody being held accountable for what is essentially “rogue” surveying?
Do you think the 200 mph EF4 rating should be used more often? Of course if context is extreme it should then be upgraded to EF5.
 

UK_EF4

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I think one result of the introduction of the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and now much stricter surveying in the last 7-10 years is that some of the highest rated tornadoes from this period are regarded as some of the most violent tornadoes; All of the 04/27 EF5s, El Reno 2011 EF5, Parkersburg IA, Vilonia a contender as well. Most of those just mentioned are before the stricter surveying of late, and partly a coincidence, however, thinking about all the tornadoes which slabbed (well-built) homes in the last 15 years which likely would have been rated F5, haven't been (which I think is in most cases/more accurate) But now, if we do get an EF5 in the next few years without a scale change, I would think it to have to have produced some very violent damage and similarly be regarded as quite a violent tornado.
Thoughts?
 

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