Weather 101: The Enhanced Fujita Scale

In this edition of Weather 101, Meteorologist Samantha Jacques explains the reasoning behind the tornado scale. We often hear forecasters say “it was an EF2 tornado” – but, what does that all Lightning And Tornado Hitting Village 1446076mean, and how do wind speeds help categorize this weather phenomenon? Sammy has the answers.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale Explained

Tornadoes are ranked on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. This scale was developed by scientist Theodore Fujita in order to assess a tornado’s strength and damage. The Enhanced Fujita Scale ranks from EF0 to EF5. EF0 being the weakest and EF5 being the strongest. A meteorologist will head to the sight of a tornado after it occurs, assess the damage, and then rank the Tornado. Each ranking is then associated with different wind speeds. 

Here is how each scale is labeled:

  • EF0 – Mild Damage – 65 to 85 mph 
  • EF1 – Moderate Damage – 86 to 110mph
  • EF2 – Considerable Damage – 111 to 135 mph
  • EF3 – Severe Damage – 136 to 165 mph 
  • EF4 – Extreme Damage – 166 to 200 mph 
  • EF5 – Incredible Damage – 200+ 

When a tornado watch or warning is issued it is critical that one takes shelter. The safest place is in a basement, but if you do not have a basement head to the most interior room in your home with no windows. Always make sure to multiple ways to receive alerts. Some options are your cell phone, sirens, television, or weather radio.  


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