Daily Archives: March 20, 2012

“Mini Tornado” – Is That Like a Small Great White Shark? A Word About Accurate Weather Reporting

Terms like “mini tornado” or “weak tornado” leave me a little baffled. I mean, that’s like saying “little great white shark” or “little stealth bomber” — using the term “little” doesn’t much change your circumstances. As a meteorologist however, I know there are indeed tornadoes of varying degree. In fact, the Enhanced Fujita Scale is used to classify tornadoes from F0 to F5. The scale represents increasing degrees of damage based on the estimation of wind speeds and post-storm surveys of damage. So yes, “weak tornado” is a valid term and one that can be defined, but that doesn’t mean you want one to visit your neighborhood.