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Tornado Categories: F1 F2 F3 F4 F5

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The Fujita Tornado Scale

Category FO-- Gale Tornado Category 40 - 72 mph--
Light damage: some damage to chimneys, breaks branches off trees, pushes over shallow-rooted trees, and damages sign boards.

Category F1-- Moderate Tornado Category 73 - 112 mph--
Moderate damage: The lower limit Category 73 mph-- is the beginning of hurricane wind speed, peels surfaces of roofs, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, and moving autos pushed off roads.

Category F2-- Significant Tornado Category 112 - 157 mph--
Considerable damage: Roofs torn off the frames of houses, mobile homes demolished, boxcars pushed over, large trees snapped or uprooted, and heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown

Category F3-- Severe Tornado Category 158 - 206 mph--
Severe damage: Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses, trains overturned, most trees in forest uprooted, and heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown.

Category F4-- Devastating Tornado Category 207 - 260 mph--
Devastating damage: Well-constructed houses leveled, structures blown off weak foundations, and cars and other large objects thrown about.

Category F5-- Incredible Tornado Category 261 - 318 mph--
Incredible damage: Strong frame houses are lifted off foundations and carried a considerable distance and disintegrated, automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters, and trees debarked.

Category F6+-- Inconceivable Tornado Category 319 - 379 mph--
The maximum wind speed of tornadoes is not expected to reach the F6 wind speeds.

Tornadoes can be classified into one of three types:

Weak Tornadoes Category F0/F1-- These tornadoes account for 74% of all tornadoes. They cause less than 5% of tornado deaths. Their lifetime is usually 1 - 10+ minutes with wind speeds less than 113 mph.

Strong Tornadoes Category F2/F3-- These tornadoes account for 25% of all tornadoes. They cause nearly 30% of all tornado deaths and may last 20 minutes or longer. Their wind speeds are clocked between 113 and 206 mph.

Violent Tornadoes Category F4/F5-- These rare tornadoes account for less than 2% of all tornadoes. However, they cause 67% of all tornado deaths nationwide. They may last for one hour or more with wind speeds greater than 206 mph.


For more info, visit http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/satellite/satelliteseye/educational/fujita.html

 

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