How Are Tornadoes Rated? Learn About the Enhanced Fujita Scale
Have you ever wondered how meteorologists measure tornado intensity? They rank tornadoes using the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Intensity Scale, a 2007 update of the original Fujita Scale developed by Tetsuya T. Fujita in 1971, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This video defines the six categories of the EF scale, from EF0 to EF5, and the damage that may occur at each level.
How can you tell how severe a tornado is?
The Enhanced Fujita (or EF) Scale explains how fast the winds are and what type of damage you may expect.
A tornado measuring EF0 has winds estimated at 65 to 85 miles per hour and may cause minor damage to a home. Chimneys may suffer minor cracks and roof shingles could fly off.
An EF1 tornado has winds from 86 to 110 miles per hour and may cause moderate damage. A home may lose part of its roofing — in particular the edges of roof overhangs and corners, where wind forces are often most intense.
Next up is a tornado rated EF2, which can produce winds from 111 to 135 miles per hour. With this category of tornado, there may be considerable damage. The entire roof of a home may be torn off. Exterior doors can be blown off and windows could break.
An EF3 tornado has wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour. Damage from an EF3 tornado may be severe and can include entire stories of homes being blown off and the first floor walls of a home toppling down. A detached garage may go flying through the air as well. Cars and other vehicles may also be tossed through the air.
A tornado rated EF4 has winds from 166 to 200 miles per hour. It may cause extreme damage. Some homes may be removed from their foundation and completely destroyed.
At the top of the scale is the most intense type of tornado: an EF5. With wind speeds of over 200 miles per hour, an EF5 tornado can cause incredible damage. Entire neighborhoods could be destroyed.
To learn more about tornadoes, including safety tips, visit allstate.com/blog.