March 12, 2014 |
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Photo op, maybe a book deal depending. Seriously? I have no idea. They had to change the Fujita Scale because the storms are stronger than in the past.
EF4 the one that hit Moore would:
"Devastating damage. Whole frame houses Well-constructed houses and whole frame houses completely leveled; cars thrown and small missiles generated."
There is no place to go.
Actually, the Fujita scale was changed to mainly account for quality of construction. They had found that there were too many tornadoes that were being classified at too high a scale because the observed damage was to poorly constructed buildings. So, in fact, the winds on the enhanced Fujita scale have dropped. For example, a tornado that was classified as an F-5 on the old scale was thought to have winds of 261-318 mph. On the new scale, an EF-5 tornado has an estimated wind speed of >200 mph. So, the scale wasn't adjusted because the storms are stronger in the past. It was adjusted for reasons opposite of that.
Although I've seen some tornadoes, only one time was I in the direct path of one. Fortunately, I was driving on the Interstate at the time. So, I parked my car at the bottom of a valley, and my friend and I ran and hid way back inside the culvert under the Interstate. It was a very long one, stretching from one side of the Interstate clear underneath the lanes going the other way, and about five feet in diameter. My friend was from New York, and had never experienced a tornado before, so he was a bit bewildered by this.
It was very eerie, the wind was whipping from left to right through the culvert for a while, then the wind stopped and it became very still for a moment. Then, the wind began to whip the other way, from right to left, after the tornado had passed overhead. A few moments later, it was safe to exit the culvert.
We went back to my car, which was undamaged. I looked up and saw the tornado. It looked like a rope way high in the sky. Only a moment later, it dissipated into nothing. As a practical matter though, we weren't in any danger because the tornado had already lifted from the ground when it passed over us, the only thing it was doing was influencing the wind direction on the ground.
Unfortunately, a culvert underneath an Interstate is not always handy. But if you can ever get inside one, you are perfectly safe from any tornado. Flooding would be the only danger you could face.
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