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Enhanced Fujita Ratings Debate Thread (8 Viewers)

pohnpei

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I'm really tried of seeing people said Vilonia was marginal or something like It could be EF5 but EF4 was OK balabala. This tornado was insanely violent. Regardless of the quality of houses, It probably had more clean slabs than any other EF5 tornados in recent decades except for Joplin which went through a big city , more than Moore, Hackleburg etc. Ground scouring, Oil tank tossing, vehicle damage, tree damage all these things were just as violent as It can reach.
 
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pohnpei

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I know a lot of us are sick of minor construction flaws being used to downgrade tornadoes far below their actual intensity, but I found a great example of why construction quality is often more important than the degree of destruction. So check out this building. Retail store, totally destroyed, and essentially flattened to the ground. What kind of damage would you guess this is? High-end EF2? Maybe EF3?
FH5d-QyVkAE4xzL


The answer is neither, and this building wasn't even hit by a tornado. In fact, it wasn't even hit by straight-line winds or a thunderstorm at all. This damage occurred from a dust devil on a sunny day with blue skies, which likely contained EF1 to marginal EF2 winds. This small retail building would be classified as DOD 8, which has a starting lower-bound wind speed of 167 MPH, or low-end EF4. While tornado damage surveyors tend to overdo it, this is a perfect example of how damage that may look impressive, actually isn't sometimes.
Definitely agree with this. I always think the comparion of these two video can show this pervasively.
The Starbuck was rated EF3 and the bank in Pakersburg rated EF2 but wind intensity in two videos was obviously opposite. This was the situation when quality not taken into account.
The Starbuck was of low quality so It performed bad in not very strong winds and the bank was built in higher than average standard so It wasn't collapsed even in the core of EF5 tornado. It also tells how important contextual is. The contextual of the Starbuck was far weaker than the bank obviously.
 
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While we're on the topic of Vilonia (again), I ran across this tidbit (emphasis mine on the italicized sentence) from the archived 4/27 thread regarding their 2011 tornado, which was ultimately rated EF2. There was quite a bit of hyperbole early on with that tornado because of the initial scanner reports of "nothing left," the town "gone," a 1/2 to 3-mile wide damage path and how intense the signature on radar had looked. How ironic that three years almost to the day later, they would be hit by another tornado that was much, much closer to an actual EF5 (and in my opinion and that of many others on here, was).

Harlequhn_Boy
Posted 26 April 2011 - 01:45 AM

Interestingly, Arkansas has never had an actual documented F5/EF5, although I am certain some occurred in the 20th century. I personally doubt we see our first Arkansas EF5 from this. Vilonia should have well-constructed homes of respectable structural integrity since it's a growing, fairly suburban area.


The new Day 1 is pretty similar to what we just went through. It leaves room to upgrade to HIGH later, actually.
 

MNTornadoGuy

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While we're on the topic of Vilonia (again), I ran across this tidbit (emphasis mine on the italicized sentence) from the archived 4/27 thread regarding their 2011 tornado, which was ultimately rated EF2. There was quite a bit of hyperbole early on with that tornado because of the initial scanner reports of "nothing left," the town "gone," a 1/2 to 3-mile wide damage path and how intense the signature on radar had looked. How ironic that three years almost to the day later, they would be hit by another tornado that was much, much closer to an actual EF5 (and in my opinion and that of many others on here, was).
There were also scanner reports that seemed to suggest asphalt scouring but in all likelihood, it was more likely just a washed-out road. I'm pretty sure Reed Timmer also claimed it was an EF5 from those scanner reports.
 

pohnpei

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The contextuals from Vilonia were very impressive.
12440553_1045565305501936_4470798748777899627_o.jpg

10325247_10203825387214075_2148386669299159145_n.jpg

DSXoVMR.jpg

IMG_0102_2-TWEB_t800.jpg
Give the fact that Vilonia was a relatively fast moving tornado, the grass scouring It made, for example the second picture showed here was something truely special. And things like this actually covered quite long section of path before and after Vilonia town.
 
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where was the really well anchored home in the photo located?

im asking because vilonias track is visible on google earth and i'd like to find it there.

nvm i found it. and seeing the excuses first hand really hammers hard hard they didnt want this to be rated ef5
 
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the only way we're ever gonna see an ef5 again is if a 300 mph tornado goes through the down town area of a major city like dallas

just to max out the number of max DOD for all kinds of damage indicators
 

Gail

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This is my hometown, and we live right next to the school. I can see it out of all of my front windows we’re so close. I was in the bathroom closet with my young boys and could hear it. I bet this would have been rated an EF-0 or EF-1 by today’s standards. It destroyed a couple of wood framed homes too and damaged a church.

2E5392D4-EE29-4595-8C52-2B10BD46ED3A.png
 

buckeye05

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This is my hometown, and we live right next to the school. I can see it out of all of my front windows we’re so close. I was in the bathroom closet with my young boys and could hear it. I bet this would have been rated an EF-0 or EF-1 by today’s standards. It destroyed a couple of wood framed homes too and damaged a church.

View attachment 11662
Nah. This one caused major structural damage and lofted school busses. It’d still be rated EF3 today. The ridiculously over-conservative surveys tend to only happen when an EF4 or EF5 rating is possible. The conservatism ramps up as damage intensity increases, rather than a consistent, standard level of conservatism being applied to every level of damage intensity.
 

andyhb

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Nah. This one caused major structural damage and lofted school busses. It’d still be rated EF3 today. The ridiculously over-conservative surveys tend to only happen when an EF4 or EF5 rating is possible. The conservatism ramps up as damage intensity increases, rather than a consistent, standard level of conservatism being applied to every level of damage intensity.
Delmont SD would like a word (although I suppose that could've been rated EF4 so it might technically still work lol).
 
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Delmont SD would like a word (although I suppose that could've been rated EF4 so it might technically still work lol).

Yeah, I think he was saying you can also see certain cases where EF4s are underrated at EF3 (Bowling Green being a particularly egregious example from the 12/10 outbreak) but below that it becomes less likely (you seldom see EF2 ratings that should have been EF3, etc - although some surveys have tried).
 

TH2002

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There is also the 2014 Smithfield NY tornado. That should have been rated EF3.
I could even see an argument for marginal to low EF4 for that one. Yeah yeah, I know, it's a dreaded CMU foundation. But the subflooring was completely ripped away and it looks to have been thoroughly bolted down.
Smithfield-damage-home-aerial.JPG

Smithfield-EF4-damage-home.JPG
Debris from that house was thrown into an adjacent house.
Smithfield-damage-home2.JPG
Smithfield-damage-home.JPG
 

pohnpei

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It seems that this EF4 rating house of Linwood was quite well built with bolts, nuts and washers all present on sill plates. I remember Topeka all mentioned this house was quite well built. Tornado ripped the floor out and the entire house was largely swept clean from foundation except for two cars remaining inside the garage. So did the contextual there lower the rating a little bit? Like It could reach at least mid range EF4 If those cars were tossed out?
QQ图片20190611203721.jpg
 
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my initial concepts of EF-scale damage a long time ago was pretty straight forward before finding out how overly complex it is.

ef-0 superficial damage
ef-1 roofs severely stripped
ef-2 roof torn off
ef-3 walls collapsed
ef-4 all walls collapsed
ef-5 home swept away

now the ef-5 type damage can be extended as low as ef-2 for rating lmfao. and everywhere inbetween.
 

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