Climate and Weather


How does the Enhanced Fujita Scale differ from the original Fujita Scale?

The National Weather Service adapted the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale on February 1, 2007 to rate tornadoes. The enhanced scale has six categories, EF0 to EF5, representing increasing levels of damage. It was revised to better estimate wind speeds by considering different types of construction and low-populated areas with few structures. The enhanced scale offers more detailed descriptions of potential damages by using 28 Damage Indicators based on different building structures and vegetation.

Enhanced Fujita Scale
Scale        Wind Speed (mph/kph) Damages
EF0 65–85/105–137 Tree branches break off, trees with shallow roots fall over; house siding and gutters damaged; some roof shingles peel off or other minor roof damage.
EF1 86–110/137–177 Mobile homes overturned; doors, windows, and glass broken; severe damage to roofs.
EF2 111–135/178–217 Large tree trunks split and big trees fall over; mobile homes destroyed, and homes on foundations are shifted; cars lifted off the ground; roofs torn off; some lighter objects thrown at the speed of missiles.
EF3 136–165/218–265 Trees broken and debarked; mobile homes completely destroyed and houses on foundations lose stories, and buildings with weaker foundations are lifted and blown distances; commercial buildings such as shopping malls are severely damaged; heavy cars are thrown and trains are tipped over.
EF4 166–200/266–322 Frame houses leveled; cars thrown long distances; larger objects become dangerous projectiles.
EF5 >200/>323 Homes are completely destroyed and even steel-reinforced buildings are severely damaged; objects the size of cars are thrown distances of 300 feet (90 meters) or more. Total devastation.


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