THE severity of the damage is the only way to gauge the strength of the wind speed of the tornado.
Radar images along with videos and photographs taken of the storm confirmed a tornado had actually struck.
“On radar and from the videos and photos it’s definitely a tornado,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Peter Newham said.
“Super cells of thunderstorms can produce tornadoes and clearly at least one of them has.
“Basically a super cell is a long-lived, rotating thunderstorm that tends to produce severe weather.
That was borne out with large hail, damaging wind gusts and heavy rainfall.
Mr Newhan said tornadoes were still a rare event.
“We don’t get that many tornadoes in Victoria. Every year we’ll get reports of at least a couple, but they’re different strengths,” he said.
“Sometimes they’ll be fairly weak tornadoes, but this is quite a significant one.”
Many tornadoes went unreported, such as those that occur in forests “or the middle of nowhere”.
“The fact that the SES has reported six or eight houses have been demolished and that people have been injured is quite significant,” Mr Newham said.
Mr Newham said it would be impossible to determine the exact wind speeds unleashed in Mulwala.
“The chance of getting a weather station right in the path of a tornado is pretty slim and then there’s quite a good chance of it being destroyed as it goes through,” he said.
“There were some strong wind gusts around Victoria but nothing like what we’ve had at Mulwala.
“We definitely didn’t get a recording from right in the path of the tornado.”