Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale

Updated June 26, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

The Fujita scale classifies tornadoes according to the damage they cause. Almost half of all tornadoes fall into the F1 or “moderate damage” category. These tornadoes reach speeds of 73-112 mph and can overturn automobiles and mobile homes, rip off the roofs of houses, and uproot trees. Only about one percent of tornadoes are classified as F5, causing “incredible damage”. With wind speeds in excess of 261 mph, these tornadoes are capable of lifting houses off their foundations and hurling them considerable distances.

F0light40–72 mph
F1moderate73–112 mph
F2significant113–157 mph
F3severe158–206 mph
F4devastating207–260 mph
F5incredible261–318 mph

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