How Tornadoes Are Rated: The EF Scale Explained
Confused by the naming scheme of tornadoes? How does EF-0 differ from EF-1? Tornadoes are ranked by the EF scale, named after Ted Fujita, a meteorologist who came up with the scheme in 1971. Since then, the system has seen some changes with the values being adjusted. Here are all of them explained in detail.
According to the Original Fujita Scale, the estimated wind speeds for an EF-0 tornado are less than 73 mph. On the Enhanced Fujita Scale, the range has been increased from 65 to 85 mph. These are considered weaker storms but still capable of mild damage to the area. It is recommended to hunker down indoors when these take place.
Common observations made are broken branches off trees with weaker timber falling, gutters and tiles off of old roofs coming loose.
On the Original Fujita Scale, the estimated wind speeds for an EF-1 tornado were around 73 to 112 mph. On the Enhanced Fujita Scale, the range has been increased overall from a minimum of 86 to 110 mph. The damage caused by these storms is much more visible and considerable. Moving to a storm shelter is recommended during these storms.
Exteriors of houses suffer a lot, such as roof tiles coming off, windows and doors breaking down, glass cracking. While most well-built homes are unaffected from the base, mobile homes commonly tip-off and break during EF-1 storms.
On the Original Fujita Scale, the estimated wind speeds for an EF-2 tornado were around 113 to 157 mph. On the Enhanced Fujita Scale, the range has been slightly decreased from a minimum of 111 to 135 mph. These storms cause a lot of damage.
People have reported a shift in the home’s foundation after EF-2 storms, with mobile homes getting destroyed after flipping over. Large objects such as trees and cars can be uprooted and lifted a few in the air due to strong winds.
The estimated wind speeds for an EF-3 tornado were around 158 to 206 mph on the Original Fujita Scale. This range has been altered to 111 to 135 mph on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
These storms leave behind a devastating impact, with high-story buildings facing a lot of damage, well-furnished complexes such as shopping malls being affected, heavy vehicles flipping over several feet and trees completely uprooting from the ground.
EF-4 tornados are some of the deadliest ones, as they can destroy well-furnished houses and buildings in one clean sweep by breaking off the frame. Large and heavy objects tend to fly off the ground over several feet. These storms ranged from 207 to 260 mph on the Original Fujita Scale. The newer rating is less, from 166 to 200 mph.
EF-5 storms are capable of causing an overwhelming amount of damage, with large objects flying hundreds of meters in the air. Large buildings and structures can be swept off strong foundations, causing great destruction. On the Enhanced Fujita Scale, these start from 200 mph.
If you happen to be in Dallas or Fort Worth, TX, you’d be aware of the damage a storm can cause. Consider getting a storm shelter installed for your home. US Safe Room provides custom safe rooms and tornado shelters in Fort Worth and Dallas, TX, for homes and businesses, to keep your loved ones and workers safe. Our products have cleared the Texas Tech Impact Test, and exceed FEMA guidelines to face an EF-5 storm. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our products and services.