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Weather Works: How are tornados categorized?

So far this year there have been 12 confirmed tornados in January alone.

MACON, Ga. — Georgia has been no stranger to severe weather so far this year with 12 confirmed tornados on January 12 alone. 

That was the same day and EF-3 tornado struck Griffin. 

But did you know that there's another rare rating to categorize tornados beside EF0- TO EF-5? 

Most of us know that while Central Georgia does have a few bustling cities there are many places that are grassy or swampy.

When tornadoes form and touchdown the National Weather Service surveys the damage.

Based on that damage they rank the tornado on the EF scale that measures peak wind strength.

They run from zero, the weakest, to five which is catastrophic.

In those grassy or swampy areas where there are very few trees or buildings tornadoes may not cause noticeable or measurable damage.

If the Weather Service believes a tornado touched down but can't determine the EF rating there's another way to classify the storm.

Meteorologists can categorize these tornadoes as EF-U's or EF Unknown tornadoes. That means that the peak winds could not be determined at the time.

EF-U's are preliminary ratings only meaning that if surveyors want to investigate the tornado more they may. 

Sometimes, they just leave it at that.

And that's how your weather works.

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