Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity

Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity

Table
The Fujita Scale of tornado intensity
F-Scale
value wind speed range*  
description of damage
photograph
of typical damage
metres
per second
feet
per second
kilometres
per hour miles
per hour
F0 18 - 32 metres/sec
64 - 116 km/hr 59 - 106 feet/sec
40 - 72 mph light chimneys and billboards damaged; branches broken; shallow-rooted trees pushed over
F1 32 - 50 metres/sec
117 - 181 km/hr 106 - 165 feet/sec
73 - 112 mph moderate the beginning of hurricane-force wind speed**; surfaces peeled off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the road
F2 50 - 70 metres/sec
182 - 253 km/hr 165 - 231 feet/sec
113 - 157 mph considerable roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated
F3 70 - 92 metres/sec
254 - 332 km/hr 231 - 303 feet/sec
158 - 206 mph severe roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forests uprooted; heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown
F4 92 - 116 metres/sec
333 - 418 km/hr 303 - 382 feet/sec
207 - 260 mph devastating well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown some distance; cars thrown; large-object missiles generated
F5 116 - 142 metres/sec
419 - 512 km/hr 382 - 466 feet/sec
261 - 318 mph incredible strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distance to disintegration; automobile-sized missiles flung through the air farther than 100 metres (330 feet); trees debarked; incredible phenomena occur
*Wind speed ranges were defined by Fujita to be "the fastest 1/4-mile wind speed." For an F3 wind speed of 320 km/hr (200 mph), the duration of the maximum wind at a point would thus be about four seconds.
**Beaufort Force 8 corresponds to a wind speed just slightly higher than the start of F0; Beaufort Force 12 (the minimum wind speed required for a tropical storm to be declared a hurricane) corresponds to the start of F1.
Sources: Modified from Fujita, T. Theodore, "Proposed Characterization of Tornadoes and Hurricanes by Area and Intensity," Satellite and Mesometeorology Research Project Research Paper 91, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 44 pp. (1971); and Fujita, T. Theodore, "Experimental Classification of Tornadoes in FPP Scale," Satellite and Mesometeorology Research Project Research Paper 98, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 15 pp. (1973).
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