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Tornado class

May 28, 2004

The strength of tornadoes are classified by the Fujita Scale, known as the F-Scale. The scale was created by Theodore Fujita of the University of Chicago.Following are the classifications:

  • F0 - A gale tornado of weak intensity with speeds of 40 to 72 mph. These tornadoes cause some damage to chimneys, break branches off trees, push over shallow-rooted trees and damage sign boards.

  • F1 - A moderate tornado of weak intensity with wind speeds of 73 to 112 mph. F1 tornados peel shingles off roofs, push mobile homes off foundations or cause them to overturn and can push moving automobiles off roads.

  • F2 - A significant tornado of strong intensity with wind speeds of 113 to 157 mph. These tornadoes can tear roofs off frame houses, demolish mobile homes, push over boxcars, snap or uproot trees and generate light-object missiles.

  • F3 - A severe tornado of strong intensity with wind speeds of 158 to 206 mph. F3 tornadoes can tear off roofs and walls of well-constructed houses, overturn trains, uproot most trees in a forest and lift and throw heavy cars.

  • F4 - A devastating tornado with a violent intensity and wind speeds of 207 to 260 mph. These tornadoes can level well-constructed houses, blow away structures with weak foundations, throw cars and generate large-object missiles

  • F5 - A violent tornado with wind speeds of 261 to 318 mph. These tornadoes can lift strong frame houses off their foundations and carry them a considerable distance, disintegrate frame houses, throw automobiles through the air at speeds more than 100 mph and debark trees.



Source: National Weather Service

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