Preliminary rating by NWS of Selma tornado an EF-2

Published 3:49 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

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From staff reports

The National Weather Service has preliminarily rated Thursday’s tornado in Selma an EF-2, which means winds reached between 113 and 157 mph. A tornado’s strength is rated on a scale of EF-0 to EF-5, with EF-5 having winds upward of 318 mph.

According to the NWS, and EF-2 tornado would cause considerable damage with “Roofs torn from frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light objects become projectiles.”

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National Weather Service personnel were on site Friday in Selma surveying damage, and it’s possible the storm could be upgraded to an EF-3, with winds topping 206 mph.

While NWS personnel say the damage was extensive, they do not yet know if the tornado had a continuous path of movement through the city, or had periodic touchdowns before moving out of the city.

During the height of the storm, weather radar signatures showed debris being lifted as high as 16,000 feet, or more than 3 miles, in the air.


This is a developing story. Please check back for updates as information is made available.