The revised scale classifies tornadoes on a hierarchy beginning with category EF0, or
light (winds of 65–85 mph; some damage to chimneys, TV antennas, roof shingles, trees, signs, and windows), which accounts for about 28% of all tornadoes. Category EF1, or
moderate (winds of 86–110 mph; automobiles overturned, carports destroyed, and trees uprooted), accounts for about 39% of all tornadoes. Category EF2, or
significant (winds of 111–135 mph; roofs blown off homes, sheds and outbuildings demolished, and mobile homes overturned), accounts for about 24% of all tornadoes. Category EF3, or
severe (winds of 136–165 mph; exterior walls and roofs blown off homes, metal buildings collapsed or severely damaged, and forests and farmland flattened), accounts for about 6% of all tornadoes. Category EF4, or
devastating (winds of 166–200 mph; few walls, if any, left standing in well-built homes and large steel and concrete missiles thrown great distances) accounts for about 2% of all tornadoes. Category EF5, or
incredible (winds of over 200 mph; homes leveled or carried great distances and schools, motels, and other larger structures have considerable damage with exterior walls and roofs gone), accounts for less than 1% of all tornadoes. Under the original Fujita scale, Category F0 had estimated winds of 40–72 mph; F1, 73–112 mph; F2, 113–157 mph; F3, 158–206 mph; F4, 207–260 mph; and F5, 261–318 mph.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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