Session 4A.1 The Enhanced Fujita Scale: Past, present and future

Monday, 11 October 2010: 4:30 PM
Grand Mesa Ballroom F (Hyatt Regency Tech Center)
Roger Edwards, SPC/NWS/NOAA, Norman, OK; and J. G. LaDue, J. T. Ferree, K. A. Scharfenberg, C. Maier, and W. L. Coulbourne

Presentation PDF (414.2 kB)

During the early-middle 2000s, in response to demand for more precision in wind damage surveying and recordkeeping, a team of atmospheric scientists and wind engineers developed the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale. The EF Scale, codified officially into NWS use in February 2007, offers wind speed estimates for a range of degrees of damage (DoD) across each of 28 damage indicators (DI). In practice, this has increased precision of damage surveys for tornado and thunderstorm-wind events, but concerns remain about both the representativeness of DoDs and the sufficiency of DIs. These include: How dependable are the wind speed ranges for certain DoDs? What other DIs can be added? How can recent advances in mapping and documentation tools be integrated into the surveying process and the storm records? What changes should be made to the existing scale, why, how, and by whom? What alternative methods of estimating tornado intensity to that of the EF-Scale are available?

To begin coordinated discussion on these and related topics, a national EF Scale Stakeholders' Meeting was held on 2-3 March 2010 in Norman, OK, with research and operational meteorologists, engineers, botanical experts and policy makers. The extended abstract will present more detailed background information, summarize the meeting, present possibilities for the future of the EF Scale and damage surveys, and solicit ideas from the severe local storms science community at the conference.

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