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An F6 Tornado?

A big part of this is that we're - again - trying to classify the unclassifiable. It is human nature to classify and have everything in nice, neat categories.

Supercells don't care whether they are wet or dry and tornadoes don't care if they're 170mph or 316 mph. These beasts will defy our explanation for a lot longer than the next few years.

I think that one of the nicest ways to describe a tornado is visually. Did it look violent, or lazy? Did it look solid, or transparent?? I know that is not a sure fire way of classifying anything - but it helps to be honest with what you've seen, too.

KR
 
There will never be an F6 tornado... The fujita scale is based upon the damage a tornado causes, and you can't get any more powerful then total destruction.

Okay, case closed... When is this thread gonna die?!!
 
Originally posted by nickgrillo
There will never be an F6 tornado... The fujita scale is based upon the damage a tornado causes, and you can't get any more powerful then total destruction.

..

Yeah you can... As Fujita himself said: ground swirls. :lol:

I agree though, science doesn't support an F6. I don't care if we had a 10 mile wide wedge with a measured wind of 400MPH by several mesonets - scientists are too stubborn to deviate from the norm.
 
If we had ground-truth of winds >320mph, then there'd be more rigorous scientific discussion I think. Just remember that you shouldn't use radar data as absolute ground truth, either, since there are still approximations/estimations/averaging that occurs (pulse averaging, range sampling, etc).

We haven't had an F5 for more than six years, just as a reminder.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder
We haven't had an F5 for more than six years.

Meh... I think we haven't seen an F5 because the ratings have tightened up quite a bit. It seems that "back in the day" and F5 was given for just about every tornado that demolished anything - a shed, mobile home, etc.. Now it boils down to the last nail - if it wasn't constructed using the finest grade metal, then the tornado was not an F5. Not that this is a bad thing of course...
 
F-5's are going to be much more rare in the future, IMHO. F-4's are already almost extinct. :) p.s. At least we'll know that any potential future F-4's and F-5's will truly deserve being rated as such.
 
Seems like the experts feel that what would've been F5 damage five years ago is now only F4 or even F3. The reasoning is always the same: structural integrity. I've seen tornado damage since 1999 that looked like F5 damage, on more than one occasion. I'm guessing that many (if not all) past F5 events would be lowered to F4 or F3 if they were re-rated with today's thinking.

Ironic that the process that is supposed to be cleaning up tornado climatology and making it more accurate is actually adding to the "skewing" of it, as IMO all past F5 events are wrong too if you apply current thinking.
 
Originally posted by Shane Adams
There's been so much discussion about how buildings are built/designed, it sounds like the scientific/meteorological community is basically saying they don't believe F5 damage is possible with today's structures.

Today's stuctures, unless you are specifically focusing on commercial buildings, are not nearly as solid as in the past. On the contrary, I think that we've see more F5 type damage now at the expense of cheaper housing construction.
 
Originally posted by Scott Taylor+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Scott Taylor)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Shane Adams
There's been so much discussion about how buildings are built/designed, it sounds like the scientific/meteorological community is basically saying they don't believe F5 damage is possible with today's structures.

Today's stuctures, unless you are specifically focusing on commercial buildings, are not nearly as solid as in the past. On the contrary, I think that we've see more F5 type damage now at the expense of cheaper housing construction.[/b]

I understand what you're saying, and you're right. But what I meant was that, with the weaker structures, any slab cleaning can't be rated as F5 because the structure was too weak, and didn't require F5 winds to sweep them clean.
 
Originally posted by Shane Adams
Ironic that the process that is supposed to be cleaning up tornado climatology and making it more accurate is actually adding to the \"skewing\" of it, as IMO all past F5 events are wrong too if you apply current thinking.

An excellent point! I don't believe I've ever thought about it...but you're right.

The truth is, we are probably skewing the tornado database more by making conservative ratings than by upgrading tornadoes based on mobile radar observations! :lol: Of course, this is only because radar observations of tornadoes are sparse at best, relative to how many tornadoes occur annually nation-wide.
 
As someone who has led or assisted on several surveys, I think that as we have learned more about the myriad variables affecting tornado damage intensity, we HAVE tightened things up a bit. I would say this is exactly what we need to do, although I believe one could make the case that in some instances it has been a little too tight. This is only natural, however, and will eventually work itself out. The biggest problem will be recognizing what is likely a vast tendency to overestimate tornado strength early in the climatological database. Any tendency to underestimate at this point is likely much smaller than the earlier tendency to overestimate, especially in regards to retroactive ratings made by photograph alone.

We have, I believe, improved the credibility of damage ratings through learning to take in the "big picture," so to speak. I rated the Shelby County, Indiana tornado earlier this month. Along the path was a farmhouse which had been blown off the foundation. However, after further examination, the foundation was loosely stacked stone, and little evidence could be found of attachment of the home itself to the foundation, beyond straight nails. Also, right next to the front steps were two large trees, with the majority of their trunks still standing. Now, in 1975, perhaps this would have been rated F5. Given what we know now, though, we could go no higher than strong F3. This was of some consternation to one gentleman who emailed us later, arguing that F5 was the most appropriate rating based on his literal reading of the scale's descriptions. After some exchange, he agreed that F5 was unrealistic, but still maintained that strong F3 was too low. I guess if we wanted to simplify things, we could simply rate the damage and only the damage and make only tenuous connections to the strength of the causative tornado, but I think few would argue that this is of any use. I remain interested to see where the EF scale efforts will lead us.

Also, I think we can all agree that as applied today an F6 tornado is impossible. It will require a redefinition of our application to happen, and the damage would have to be absolutely unprecedented in scale and scope.
 
Originally posted by Karen Rhoden
A big part of this is that we're - again - trying to classify the unclassifiable. It is human nature to classify and have everything in nice, neat categories.

Supercells don't care whether they are wet or dry and tornadoes don't care if they're 170mph or 316 mph. These beasts will defy our explanation for a lot longer than the next few years.

I think that one of the nicest ways to describe a tornado is visually. Did it look violent, or lazy? Did it look solid, or transparent?? I know that is not a sure fire way of classifying anything - but it helps to be honest with what you've seen, too.

KR



I like these comments they clealy demonstrate that their is just so much we don't know. I don't think we can ever detect any accurate windspeed in the vortex of a tornado until we gain the technology to do so and when we have that kind of technology I think it will bring about many changes to the current scale and how we look tornadoes.

Instability=Success "As it breaks the cap, shoot the core, bag a nado and the chase goes on."
 
Originally posted by rdewey+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(rdewey)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-nickgrillo
There will never be an F6 tornado... The fujita scale is based upon the damage a tornado causes, and you can't get any more powerful then total destruction.

..

Yeah you can... As Fujita himself said: ground swirls. :lol:

I agree though, science doesn't support an F6. I don't care if we had a 10 mile wide wedge with a measured wind of 400MPH by several mesonets - scientists are too stubborn to deviate from the norm.[/b]



Maybe they are just committed to the same old way of looking at things, since Fujita stated that an F6 might be detected by ground swirls just think of how famous the next chaser would be if they succeeded in getting this "<swirl>" on film! :shock: Just like Faidleys famous CG of a lifetime this would be the storm chasers tornado shot of a lifetime! I wonder which of us it's going to be I mean it's got to happen just look at our record breaking 2005 hurricane season :!:



Instability=Success "As it breaks the cap, punch the core, shoot a nado and the chase goes on"
 
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