Assign a Fujita Rating

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Dec 8, 2003
Calera, AL
I guess straight-line isn't an option? :) I have to say the damage isn't too impressive. Those grandstands sure didnt take too much of a hurtin. The building throws me off a bit, but judging by the other objects in the picture, I'd say it was just poorly constructed. I reckon this was a F1.

I'll add that it wasn't wind damage but was a confirmed tornado. I'll even throw a hint in:

The tornado formed just east of this town and tracked westward.


Rate the damage

Hello, that first photo was a big clue giveaway. You see most of the trees standing, the telephone poles are still in place, etc. That last photo of that tree with its tops ripped off, that was a good indication of a weak tornado or strong straight line winds. Hey if this tornado touched down to the east and it tracked westward, could it be anti-cyclonic?? Is this the Deshler tornado from last year?? Hint: look at the license plate on the blue pickup in the fourth picture. Looks like a 32 plate, which is Thayer County. 8) ...LJK
I as well was thinking a straight-line event, thus my F0 classification. It's very hard to see anything in there that confirmed rotation of any sort.
From the looks of that twisted metal and the fact that two roofs have been partially or completely taken off, I would say F2.


you take the worst damage at any single point on the path of the tornado. That would be the picture where the brick building has lost its roof and most of its second story. F2.
I agree it appears to me that this tornado should be rated an f3
A very important key to doing damage surveys is to not investigate what was damaged, but also pay close attention to what's left (I strongly suggest attending a Tim Marshall talk). In this case I see numerous instances of trees intact with LEAVES still on them. Telephone poles and other structures are completely erect. Poor construction is apparent even in these distant photographs and roofs can be removed in F0/F1 damage. The building collapse needs closer pictures to prove this, but I would give this an F1 rating generously.

Actually I am going to say F1, mainly based on the tree damage. I cannot see anything uprooted and some have many leaves left. The damage to buildings could well be a combination of tornadic and straight line winds possibly. I am not expert of course.
I say F1 because most of the trees were still in tact, but there was damage to roofs.