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Enhanced Fujita Ratings Debate Thread (1 Viewer)


Equus

Member
Messages
714
Location
Saragossa, AL
I really do like the 'incredible damage' modifiers. You compare two identically swept away houses, with the former having little contextual support and the latter with grass scoured out of the ground, shredded tree snags, and cars turned into little crumpled metal balls, and it's immediately apparent which one is truly violent. I know surveyors document and take into account these things but I think maybe there's not enough put into non-DI indicators. The Hamilton house destroyed to seemingly EF3 level had only medium-end tree damage around it, so maybe a case could be made contextually for the lower rating. I dunno.
 

Equus

Member
Messages
714
Location
Saragossa, AL
Here's an example of one of the issues I'm seeing recently with the application of the EF- scale... this is a destroyed house from Elon, VA, from the tornado that struck, ironically, exactly one year ago today.



Definitely a poorly attached home, but it IS a frame home, and the entire thing was swept into a ravine and scattered into the woods. The lowest POSSIBLE EF scale DI for a frame home swept away, regardless of construction, is low end EF3. NWS Blacksburg initially broke the constraints of the EF scale itself and rated this damage 130mph EF2. This is definitely not a super high end candidate given contextual evidence and poor anchoring, but EF2 seems wholly inappropriate. It was eventually bumped to 150mph EF3, which seems about right, but even then, before La Plata and careful engineering was considered, this would have been slapped with F4 by many WFOs... probably slightly too high by even F scale standards.

And therein lies the problems... the awful historical consistency with overrated F scale tornadoes, and sometimes actually breaking DI constraints to underrate a tornado.
 

gangstonc

Member
Messages
1,224
Location
Meridianville
I think Doppler Radar is accurate enough that we should use that data in combination with an damage study to assign ratings.

And if we can get fortunate enough to get DOW data, then use that.
 

Equus

Member
Messages
714
Location
Saragossa, AL
I'm of the opinion that even though it won't help the consistency of the ratings, we should use whatever data we can get, with DOW scans certainly worth taking into consideration. I'd kind of like to see EF scale wind estimates raised a bit since we've had confirmed 200+mph tornadoes barely cause EF3 damage, but every bit of data recorded should at least be mentioned on the survey.
 

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