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I think the Enhanced Fujita Scale is Flawed

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posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 11:19 AM
I believe there are issues with the Enhanced Fujita scale, some of these issues have already surfaced, while some haven't and never will.

I've felt for a while now that the Enhanced Fujita scale was flawed, specifically relying only on damage to rate a tornado. The good news now is that some Professional Meteorologist think changes are needed as well due to the El Reno tornado debacle. Some Meteorologist are saying due to new technology capabilities we should be able to classify tornadoes not just by damage, but recorded wind speed. The El Reno tornado is officially an EF-3 tornado as only EF-3 damage was found. But, while the tornado was over open land a Doppler on Wheels recorded a wind speed of 295 mph, but since a tornado can only be rated on damage, the El Reno tornado can only be an EF-3 tornado. I will tell you why making sure the rating of a tornado needs to be as accurate as possible.

One of the major flaws with judging a tornado strictly by damage is that a weaker tornado can make a poorly hit town look like it was hit by an EF-5. Engineers that went to investigate the Joplin tornado said all the damage could have been done by an EF-3 tornado do to poor building codes. The tornado could have been an EF-5, but it may have been weaker too.

One thing that has yet to happen is an EF-5 totally decimating a large city. This is where the 200+ mph winds become vague. A 201 mph EF-5 tornado will not twist the frames of a sky scraper like what happened in Lubbock, Texas in 1970, But a 285 mph tornado likely could. Now that's two different types of damage. Another example is that a 201 mph tornado probably won't lift a well built house and throw it hundreds of yards, but will flatten and scatter the house. This again is two different types of damage that a tornado is doing. It is much more likely that a person survives a flattened then scattered house than a house either lifted off its foundation and thrown hundreds of yards or even a house completely shredded into unrecognizable pieces. I think a cross between the original Fujita scale and the new one would be better.

In this post my goal is not to below any tornado, because they're all bad. But, it is important that the classification of a tornado is as accurate as possible, here's why. Leading up to severe weather days professionals and amateurs alike use analog guidance to try to predict how bad a severe weather outbreak could be. What the analogs do is pull up the top 15 notable severe out breaks that match the similar atmospheric pattern that is being forecasted for the potential outbreak day. These dates are dates that meteorologist don't want to see show up. April 3rd 1974, April 26 1991, May 27 1997, May 3rd 1999, and April 25-27 2011. Now if you don't know the dates off the top of your head then I advise you to look them up as it would be better to look them up and learn about the event than me just telling you how we phrase them. What can happen is that when tornadoes are wrongly classified, say a tornado is classified as an EF-5 when it was really an EF-3, that tornado will then become a very notable analog, which could make an outbreak seem more severe then it might be. Or if a tornado that was out in the country was only rated and EF-2 because it only hit trees, but it was really a menacing 300+ mph 2 mile wide twister it could cause an analog to be over looked, which could prompt a lesser prediction for a severe outbreak. Analogs are the only thing that they use when forecasting an outbreak, but when the people at storm prediction center aren't sure about a certain weather set up, the analogs surely help.

As technology continues to advance, I think the Enhanced Fujita Scale needs to be readjusted sometime soon.

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 11:46 AM
a reply to: IngyBall

The main problem here is that any rating system based on damage alone, will be subject to ambiguity. If a tornado with a windspeed of 250 mph hits a crap hole, and a megacity on the same day, then I am pretty sure that same tornado would receive two, completely different categorisations, because it would clearly damage a poorly built community in a much more severe way than it would be capable of in the event of contact with a metropolis.

But the other problem is this...

When a tornado is on the way, people ahead of it need to know what order of strength it is BEFORE it does any damage. They need to know how strong the weather system above it is, they need to know up to the minute what direction it is headed, and they need to know how strong it is, to know whether they are likely to die or not more than anything else.

If you say to someone that an EF 1 just passed through an armoured complex at a military base, then those who have little understanding of the rating system may not respond to the threat with enough vigor. When their comparatively weak house gets smashed asunder in a much higher rated storm than they were expecting they will be surprised, as well as probably dead.

Obviously, a scale which does not rely on variables like the strength of the houses or architecture as an indicator ought to be devised. Mind you, none of this would be nearly as much of a concern, if the government of the US were to actually get off their arses and do something productive about the situation in Tornado alley.

First, they should ban the building of any house which COULD be destroyed or even seriously damaged by a tornado. It is perfectly possible to build houses which cannot be grabbed by the vacuum power of a tornado, but it would cost a little more per house, than a regular, square, flat sided and entirely geographically inappropriate house. A geodesic structure, made of ferrocrete mix, and with DEEP solid iron pilings with barbed ends, will NOT move no matter what you do to it. The shape would defeat any effort on the part of a tornado to lift it from its foundations, because it would find it nearly impossible to actually grab a hold of. The solid ferrocrete exterior would be free of bolt ons, clapboard, or any other elements capable of coming adrift in high winds, thus reducing the amount of torpedoing crap that whirls around, shredding anything in its path during events like these. Finally, such a structure as I propose being built, would be cheaper for residents and insurers alike in the long run, because the insurers would be confident that they would get to keep their insurance money from the clients, and the clients of those insurers would be certain that their house would not be going away, yet again, leaving them homeless until such time as alternative living arrangements can be made properly.

I feel this, far more than any arbitrary rating system based on ludicrously variable...variables, is far more crucial to the point of keeping people safe from tornado winds.

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 12:00 PM
a reply to: TrueBrit

That's what I'm saying, a newer scale would not be based on damage alone, also with technology advancing quite rapidly we can now take a radar estimate of the wind speed of a tornado, so if it hit's a crap hole or open country, we would still get an accurate reading, the same would apply to it hitting a military complex.

Right now we aren't at the point were we can guess the exact path the tornado will take and unfortunately we probably won't be for a while, but by taking radar estimates of the wind speed people can know how dangerous a tornado is.

To protect houses from tornadoes we would have to build houses like sky scrapers, thought they are rare some of the strongest tornadoes can destroy the strongest of buildings, the Jarrell Texas tornado destroyed a recycling plant that was mad of steel beam. All that was left were a few beams twisted into pretzel shape. Though I'm sure 50-100 years from now there will be a cheap material that can withstand a tornadoes winds.

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 12:51 PM
Yah, hard to quantify "strength" of a tornado on the ground. A tornado can be an intense, narrow funnel chewing up pasture, or a broad based killer mowing down houses in a town.

These look like F10s to me.

( I know the scale doesn't go that high)

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 01:01 PM
a reply to: intrptr

This is what Jarrell's damage looked like, when they say wiped off the face of the earth they aren't kidding.
edit on 6-6-2015 by IngyBall because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 01:15 PM
a reply to: IngyBall

More images of that place.


Talk about churning the rubble, heres an engine block with a frame wrapped around it.

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 01:17 PM
Fujita? Ain't the same as fajita?
Damn yall got me looking but nothing to see
Guess ill have to keep looking. Adios!

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 03:01 PM
Also, they need to get rid of "enhanced" in front of Fujita. It's just not needed.
But yeah, judging by destruction is senseless.

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 05:12 PM
Once again the ATS expert meteorologists weigh in to criticize an apparently meaningless measurement used worldwide suggesting that measuring damage is stupid.

But it doesn't exactly do that. In fact, it does the opposite.

It's an attempt to measure wind speed by observing damage.

Observe: Source goes here and a here's a more complete explanation.

Yet another example of why ATS is not taken seriously.

posted on Jun, 6 2015 @ 09:26 PM
a reply to: schuyler

I never said that it measures only damage, I know that it uses damage to measure wind speed, and I'm saying that's flawed, and more specifically I'm saying the criteria for an EF-5 is flawed. It's more of the Tornadoes that produce lack of damage because they stay over open fields that causes the Flaw. Like I said the El Reno had wind speeds recorded at 295 mph, but because only EF-3 damage could be found, the tornado was rated an EF-3, and I said that's important because it can blur the analog guidance, which is used to help forecast severe weather outbreaks. Plus I never said the scale is meaningless, I just said it needs to change and I'm not the only one who thinks that some professional meteorologist think it needs to be changed too.

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