Tornado Scale Changes

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This week's hail and thunderstorms are proof that severe weather is just around the corner for southern Colorado, and meteorologists are making some changes to the way they look at tornado damage.

The Fujita scale looks at tornado damage after the storm, then assigns a grade between zero and 5. An F-5 tornado has winds over 260 miles an hour under the current scale. But the enhanced Fujita scale will estimate the same tornado at 200 miles an hour or greater. Other classifications of tornadoes - from F-0 to F-4 - will also change.
"I think the enhanced Fujita scale is an improvement to our estimation of wind speeds associated with tornadoes." said Paul Wolyn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

The new scale goes into effect next severe weather season, in February of 2007. That will give residents time to learn about the new scale before it takes hold.