Fujita Tornado Damage Scale

Developed by Dr. T. Theodore Fujita at the University of Chicago in 1971

Scale Estimated Wind Speeds Typical Damage
F0 < 73 mph Light Damage
Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.
F1 73-112 mph Moderate Damage
Peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving cars blown off roads.
F2 113-157 mph Considerable Damage
Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars overturned; large trees snapped or uprooted; light-object missiles generated; cars lifted off ground.
F3 158-206 mph Severe Damage
Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown.
F4 207-260 mph Devastating Damage
Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.
F5 261-318 mph Incredible Damage
Strong frame houses leveled off foundations and swept away; automobile-sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters (109 yards); trees debarked; incredible phenomena will occur.

Note: The current Fujita Scale will be retired in February, 2007 in favor of an enhanced Fujita Scale system. More information about the Enhanced F-Scale can be found at this Storm Prediction Center web page.

F-scale winds should not be taken literally. The precise wind speeds used in the scale are estimates only and have never been scientifically verified. Different wind speeds may cause similar-looking damage from place to place and even building to building. A thorough engineering analysis would be needed to verify actual wind speeds.


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