Daily independent weather forecasts for the Kansas City area

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Damage surveys partially in

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Pleasant Hill has finished it's damage survey of two of the three tornadoes that effected the area on Wednesday. The tornado that moved through rural Bates county east of Amsterdam was rated EF1, while a brief touchdown east of Adrian was rated EF0. Survey results of the larger tornado in Lynn county are still underway. This is the county that had the most damage reports from the storms on Wednesday. NWS Pleasant Hill has some pictures from a destroyed house on the web site.

I'm unsure of the structure of this house, but it appears to be completely gone. The new enhanced Fujita scale now has additional indicators to determine strength. The old scale was determined off damage to a "well built" house. Often times, such a structure was not in the direct path, making strength assessments difficult. If this WAS a well built house, the old scale would classify this as an F5. Just looking at the pictures, this would not classify as a well built house. My guess is that it would be classified as an EF2 or EF3 simply looking off the pictures. The real experts should make their classification soon.

I AM curious to know why the assessment is taking so long. The only thing I can think of is if they feel the tornado could be classified as an EF4 or 5. When such a rating is expected, they bring in the most experienced storm assessment experts to make the call on the rating. With the storms in Alabama and Georgia on Thursday, I'm sure this handful of experts are rather busy already.

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