Clovis tornado measures EF2 on scale

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom Newspapers

Officials with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque are using an “Enhanced Fujita Scale,” or the EF, to categorize the strength of Friday’s tornadoes.

The scale ranges from EF0 — winds 65 mph to 85 mph — to EF5, or winds in excess of 200 mph.

Officials estimated Friday’s Clovis tornado measured EF2 (120-125 mph winds) from the south end along U.S. 70 to the railroad tracks and north from Sycamore Street to 21st Street.

From the railroad tracks to Yucca Junior High, winds ranged from EF0 to EF1 (65-100 mph), said Keith Hayes, warning coordination meteorologist for NWS in Albuquerque.

The tornado that touched down on Friday afternoon in Logan has been determined to be an EF1, with winds estimated between 90 mph and 95 mph, with spikes up to
105 mph, Hayes said.

The original Fujita Scale was developed by meteorologist Theodore Fujita in 1971, but has been modified over the years due to changes in construction and building materials to include more damage indicators, said NWS forecaster Tim Shy.

The newest system uses 28 damage indicators from a transmission line tower to a double-wide mobile home to a shopping mall. Each is also assessed for its DOD or degree of damage, Shy said.

There are only six measures because after 200 mph winds, “everything gets wiped out,” Hayes said.

There are no records of an EF5 in New Mexico since information has been tracked, going back 60 years, Hayes said.