Fujita Scale

The Fujita Scale has been replaced with the newer Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale. You can learn about the EF Scale and its relationship to the F-Scale at the National Weather Service website. One advantage of the older Fujita Scale, however, is that it sometimes makes it easier for the general public to understand the rough correlation between tornado wind speed and resulting damage. As you look at these windspeeds and the types of damage they can cause, it’s important to remember that fewer than 2% of all tornadoes fall in the F-4 or F-5 category.

 Rating  Wind Speed
 F-0  40-72 Light: Some chimney damage, broken tree branches, damaged sign boards.
 F-1  73-112 Moderate: Mobile homes moved or overturned, roofing stripped off houses, moving autos pushed off roads.
 F-2  113-157 Considerable: Mobile homes demolished; roofs torn from frame houses; large trees snapped or uprooted.
 F-3  158-206 Severe: Roofs and most outer walls torn off even well-built houses; trains overturned.
 F-4  207-260 Devastating: All houses leveled and some are blown some distance from their foundations; autos thrown through the air.
 F-5  261-318 Incredible: Houses picked up and carried considerable distance in pieces, automobiles fly through the air farther than 100 yards; pavement removed from highways.

Return to Intellectual Ways of Knowing and Learning About Tornadoes.