Enhanced Fujita Ratings Debate Thread (1 Viewer)


warneagle

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I fear Vilonia is what set the unfortunate precedent of nit-picky lowballing. Obviously haven't seen very many EF5 candidates in recent years but since then, leveled houses being rated EF2 for example is happening waaay more than it oughta.

I'm sure that same met, if in charge of the NHC, would have held Michael at a category 3 because of "precedent" for landfalling east Gulf hurricanes despite sanity and all available data
Chapman should've been an EF5. There's no way an EF4 would have done that to those railroad tracks.
 

Equus

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Chapman is in my opinion the best candidate for EF5 between Vilonia and Bassfield; I know structural damage hardly warranted an upgrade but the vehicle damage and railroad damage suggested that would've been appropriate had they chosen to. It received a 180mph estimate which is at least mid-end EF4, but clearly had more potential had it not hit more than a couple houses, vehicles, and the tracks.
Tornado Damage SW of Chapman EF4.jpg
EF4 structural damage was impressive but at best marginal EF4 with debris left in large pieces very close to the house
Tornado_damage_in_Dickinson_County_0_39006730_ver1.0_640_480.jpg
Vehicle damage was extremely high end, crumpling farm equipment and trucks into metal balls and wrapping them around each other. Not so much tearing them in pieces, but definitely still a violent hallmark
railroad.jpg
As I said on the old TW, the railroad damage was truly unique for the modern era. As a railroad buff I have literally never seen modern Class One continuously welded rail bent in this manner from tornadoes. The old lightweight jointed rail of the 19th and early 20th centuries, sure, it can happen, but this was a Union Pacific main line built with extremely heavy modern thermite welded rails. This sort of damage as far as I know of has never been seen in the continuously welded rail era. While those long rails are surprisingly flexible and the ties are not fastened to the ballast, note that numerous violent tornadoes have passed over similarly modern tracks without even the slightest hint of damage. Phil Campbell, Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Joplin, Moore; they all passed over railroads without any damage to the rail structure. Some have suggested that debris impact may have led to the misalignment, but this happened over too long a length for that so I have my doubts. Could've started with debris impact giving it just enough of a nudge to shift in the wind, but still not so sure of that. If not convinced of the violence of the tornado at this particular spot, note debarked low lying shrubs to the left. That's some extraordinary, likely EF5 level ground wind speed. But as there really isn't any precedent for it I guess it's not surprising they didn't go EF5 at this spot. Union Pacific repaired it immediately anyway so not much time for an analysis there.
 
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Chapman is in my opinion the best candidate for EF5 between Vilonia and Bassfield; I know structural damage hardly warranted an upgrade but the vehicle damage and railroad damage suggested that would've been appropriate had they chosen to. It received a 180mph estimate which is at least mid-end EF4, but clearly had more potential had it not hit more than a couple houses, vehicles, and the tracks.
View attachment 2926
EF4 structural damage was impressive but at best marginal EF4 with debris left in large pieces very close to the house
View attachment 2927
Vehicle damage was extremely high end, crumpling farm equipment and trucks into metal balls and wrapping them around each other. Not so much tearing them in pieces, but definitely still a violent hallmark
View attachment 2928
As I said on the old TW, the railroad damage was truly unique for the modern era. As a railroad buff I have literally never seen modern Class One continuously welded rail bent in this manner from tornadoes. The old lightweight jointed rail of the 19th and early 20th centuries, sure, it can happen, but this was a Union Pacific main line built with extremely heavy modern thermite welded rails. This sort of damage as far as I know of has never been seen in the continuously welded rail era. While those long rails are surprisingly flexible and the ties are not fastened to the ballast, note that numerous violent tornadoes have passed over similarly modern tracks without even the slightest hint of damage. Phil Campbell, Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Joplin, Moore; they all passed over railroads without any damage to the rail structure. Some have suggested that debris impact may have led to the misalignment, but this happened over too long a length for that so I have my doubts. Could've started with debris impact giving it just enough of a nudge to shift in the wind, but still not so sure of that. If not convinced of the violence of the tornado at this particular spot, note debarked low lying shrubs to the left. That's some extraordinary, likely EF5 level ground wind speed. But as there really isn't any precedent for it I guess it's not surprising they didn't go EF5 at this spot. Union Pacific repaired it immediately anyway so not much time for an analysis there.
That Brandon Clement lost his truck in this tornado and it was a truck that was torn into unrecognizable fragments and was scattered several miles downwind. Not sure if the pictures exist anymore.
 
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If the EF scale requires winds to be at least 200 mph how was Rochelle not an EF5? Was it the extent of the damage?
It has to be in excess of 200 mph. The Rochelle tornado seems to have somewhat of an argument for a possible EF5 rating. A lot of it had to do with context I believe.
 

Brice

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In 2016 the Abilene tornado wasn't the only that should've been rated EF5. Look at the Sulphur tornado it looked like a textbook EF5 but the damage wasn't that intense. It had winds at about 218 mph. Like the Abilene tornado, if it hit sulphur directly it would've been an EF5, it was an EF3. That's the same story with the Mulhall tornado in 1999. It was thought to be more intense than the Moore tornado yet it got a high-end F4
 

buckeye05

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Chapman is in my opinion the best candidate for EF5 between Vilonia and Bassfield; I know structural damage hardly warranted an upgrade but the vehicle damage and railroad damage suggested that would've been appropriate had they chosen to. It received a 180mph estimate which is at least mid-end EF4, but clearly had more potential had it not hit more than a couple houses, vehicles, and the tracks.
View attachment 2926
EF4 structural damage was impressive but at best marginal EF4 with debris left in large pieces very close to the house
View attachment 2927
Vehicle damage was extremely high end, crumpling farm equipment and trucks into metal balls and wrapping them around each other. Not so much tearing them in pieces, but definitely still a violent hallmark
View attachment 2928
As I said on the old TW, the railroad damage was truly unique for the modern era. As a railroad buff I have literally never seen modern Class One continuously welded rail bent in this manner from tornadoes. The old lightweight jointed rail of the 19th and early 20th centuries, sure, it can happen, but this was a Union Pacific main line built with extremely heavy modern thermite welded rails. This sort of damage as far as I know of has never been seen in the continuously welded rail era. While those long rails are surprisingly flexible and the ties are not fastened to the ballast, note that numerous violent tornadoes have passed over similarly modern tracks without even the slightest hint of damage. Phil Campbell, Tuscaloosa, Cullman, Joplin, Moore; they all passed over railroads without any damage to the rail structure. Some have suggested that debris impact may have led to the misalignment, but this happened over too long a length for that so I have my doubts. Could've started with debris impact giving it just enough of a nudge to shift in the wind, but still not so sure of that. If not convinced of the violence of the tornado at this particular spot, note debarked low lying shrubs to the left. That's some extraordinary, likely EF5 level ground wind speed. But as there really isn't any precedent for it I guess it's not surprising they didn't go EF5 at this spot. Union Pacific repaired it immediately anyway so not much time for an analysis there.
Chapman was incredibly violent, and almost undoubtedly an EF5. Also, not to nit pick, but NWS Topeka actually finalized this as a 200 MPH EF4 in the NCDC database, not 180 MPH. The Tornado Talk podcast interviewed one of the damage surveyors for this event, and he mentioned that if this tornado had hit Chapman directly, an EF5 rating would have likely been applied. Also with the house pictured above, although it wasn't a totally clean sweep, the house was ripped from its foundation so violently that it tore out a chunk of the concrete foundation as one of the anchor bolts pulled out. That is seriously impressive.
 

buckeye05

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Somebody above mentioned Rochelle, IL from 2015. This was another tornado that was finalized as a 200 MPH EF4. I used to be on the fence regarding if an EF4 or EF5 rating should have been applied, but upon taking a look at the DAT info from this tornado, it's obvious to me that an EF5 rating should have been applied. As this tornado struck the Deer Creek subdivision to the north of town, numerous EF5 hallmarks occurred. Multiple large, modern, well-anchored homes were swept away, with the debris granulated and wind-rowed long distances. Mowed, short lawn grass was scoured from the yards of several of these homes as well. Most impressively, a concrete sidewalk leading to the front door of one of these homes was actually shifted and pulled away from the driveway and house (photo below). The low-level winds that would have been needed to move this sidewalk would have to have been absolutely insane. However, this was finalized as EF4 due to lack of vehicle movement at some of the homes (seen in first pic) Normally I would agree, but upon further review, I think EF5 should have been applied. Photos:Rochelle 3.jpgRochelle4.jpgRochelle2.jpgRochelle1.jpg
 
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Messages
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Lenexa, KS
Somebody above mentioned Rochelle, IL from 2015. This was another tornado that was finalized as a 200 MPH EF4. I used to be on the fence regarding if an EF4 or EF5 rating should have been applied, but upon taking a look at the DAT info from this tornado, it's obvious to me that an EF5 rating should have been applied. As this tornado struck the Deer Creek subdivision to the north of town, numerous EF5 hallmarks occurred. Multiple large, modern, well-anchored homes were swept away, with the debris granulated and wind-rowed long distances. Mowed, short lawn grass was scoured from the yards of several of these homes as well. Most impressively, a concrete sidewalk leading to the from door of one of these homes was actually shifted and pulled away from the driveway and house (photo below). The low-level winds that would have been needed to move this sidewalk would have to have been absolutely insane. However, this was finalized as EF4 due to lack of vehicle movement at some of the homes (seen in first pic) Normally I would agree, but upon further review, I think EF5 should have been applied. Photos:View attachment 2929View attachment 2930View attachment 2931View attachment 2932
If this tornado near Bassfield gets rated EF5 how would you compare it with other F5/EF5 events?
 

buckeye05

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If this tornado near Bassfield gets rated EF5 how would you compare it with other F5/EF5 events?
I don't have enough info yet. I need to see what JAN posts in the Damage Assessment Toolkit. They haven't added the points of most intense damage yet. However, I just found something incredible that was posted on another forum. This is some insanely high-end tree damage from the Bassfield tornado. It's definitely the most violent tree damage I have seen since the EF5s of 2011, no doubt.
BassfieldTreeDamage.jpg
 
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Lenexa, KS
I don't have enough info yet. I need to see what JAN posts in the Damage Assessment Toolkit. They haven't added the points of most intense damage yet. However, I just found something incredible that was posted on another forum. This is some insanely high-end tree damage from the Bassfield tornado. It's definitely the most violent tree damage I have seen since the EF5s of 2011, no doubt.
View attachment 2934
Wow!!! That is definitely high up there.
 

Equus

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Ah. Wasn't aware they'd gone with 200, makes sense. Also had never seen those Rochelle pics before; clearly both would have been slam dunk F5 twenty years ago.

I really don't want to delve too deeply into the "BASSFIELD EF5" storm that I'm sure is ongoing on less managed social media, but that level of debarking plus ground scarring and slabbing definitely puts me in the camp that makes me think it should be on the table. Not convinced yet JAN decides to go that route but the contextual damage is so high end it's clear that the potential was there regardless.
 
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I don't have enough info yet. I need to see what JAN posts in the Damage Assessment Toolkit. They haven't added the points of most intense damage yet. However, I just found something incredible that was posted on another forum. This is some insanely high-end tree damage from the Bassfield tornado. It's definitely the most violent tree damage I have seen since the EF5s of 2011, no doubt.
View attachment 2934
A lot of people thought this tornado looked like the Hackleburg/Phil Campbell EF5 tornado. The only difference the Hackleburg/Phil Campbell was not as wide, had twice the path length and did more EF5 damage. As far as the intensity of the damage goes they both look like there on the same level.
 

buckeye05

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A lot of people thought this tornado looked like the Hackleburg/Phil Campbell EF5 tornado. The only difference the Hackleburg/Phil Campbell was not as wide, had twice the path length and did more EF5 damage. As far as the intensity of the damage goes they both look like there on the same level.
I don't know if we have enough information to make that kind of comparison at this point.
 
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I don't know if we have enough information to make that kind of comparison at this point.
This could change as more photos become available, but I wouldn't say most of the damage I've seen in the photos so far was quite as intense as Hackleburg or Smithville. I don't doubt that the Bassfield tornado was EF5 strength, but not quite on the same level as the 4/27 tornadoes. Unless I've missed something I haven't seen any of the extreme pavement scouring here that happened with the Hackleburg tornado or the trench-digging from the Philadelphia and Smithville tornadoes.
 
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andyhb

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I'm sure some of you have read this, but this Dr. Doswell post from after the EF-scale went operational contains many of the points we have been making on here for years. Namely surrounding 1-2 family residences...

The details are contained in the documented indicators (see here for the PDF), but an important issue is that according to the current list of EF damage indicators, it's impossible for any damage to a well-constructed frame home to be associated with an EF-5 rating. Contrary to what I was told during the initial meetings concerning the development of the EF-scale, this would mean a notable change in the ratings. Under the old F-scale criteria, if a well-constructed frame home was swept away, leaving nothing but a foundation and no standing walls, then that would be considered F5 damage. Under the new EF-scale system, that would no longer be true - the highest possible rating by the new EF-Scale standard would be EF-4. Only if the structure of a standard frame home was somehow enhanced beyond standard practice throughout the load path, would it be possible for EF-5 damage to be inferred from frame home damage. This amounts to a change to the ratings, and would imply that any F5 rating in the past was, in effect, not valid. I see this as an important violation of I was led to believe was the agreed-upon constraint that any new rating system would not result in a change to the ratings of the past.
 

Equus

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Yeah Doswell has made some EXCELLENT points with the issues regarding the EF scale, also has made it clear he's annoyed with throwing out DOW data in cases where it would fill in information that DIs didn't cover. He's a legend and pretty damn wise, so I wish the committee would put more stock into his concerns.
 

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