11 January 2008

[van_wa, liff] On the Fujita Scale

1250. Everything seems to be rated on a scale, and the 2008 Vancouver Twister is no execption. It was, the consensus seems to be leaning to, an F0 storm .. and F1 at best, with estimated winds somewhere between 65 and 153 mph.

The metric for estmating tornado strenght is the so-called Enhanced Fujita Scale. This provides six levels of strength, EF0-EF5, (usually simply said F0-F5 in the parlance, in the style of the earlier Fujita Scale.

The thing to understand about the EFS, though, is that it is a quantification of damage produced by the storm, which is used to infer the likely range of wind speeds. It's about as easy to measure actual wind speed as it is to hit ... oh, I don't know, a 2-meter thermal exhaust port.

And it is the National Weather Service that makes the final call on whether or not something was a twister, but judging by the pictures that all the newsers have up, it's hard to see that it was anything but.

Now all we need is a scale to measure the alacrity with which a major event becomes a page on Wikipedia.

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