Understanding the Fujita Scale of Tornadoes Tornados vary in intensity and peril. Depending upon their strength, they can wreak havoc to just your hair-do or the entire neighborhood. In 1971, T. Theodore Fujita developed a scale to begin classifying tornadoes and predicting damage. We call it the Fujita scale and it gives us a general idea of what to expect from each twister we encounter. Like a hurricane, the strength of the twister is measured mainly by the speed of the winds it creates, but overall damage is assessed as well. An F0 is equivalent to 40 to 72 mile an hour winds. Tornado damage from an F0 is expected to be light. An F1 is equivalent to 73 to 112 mile an hour winds. Tornado damage from an F1 is expected to be moderate. An F2 is characterized by 113 to 157 mile an hour winds precluding “considerable damage.” An F3 gets pretty serious with 158 to 206 mile an hour winds, considered “severe damage.” F4’s approach catastrophic with 207 to 260 mile an hour winds. These are classified as devastating. Finally, the worst are the F5’s. These tornadoes range between 260 and 318 miles per hour. Experts consider their effect to be “incredible.” Anything left still standing after one of these should be hailed as an incredible engineering feat.
Twisters Normally, twisters stick around the F0 to F1 range. About 74% of all tornadoes fit in this range. Less than half of all tornado related deaths fall in this range. The Fujita level of a twister isn’t determined until after the storm has taken its toll. It is determined after measuring the strength of the winds and assessing the full extent of its damage. Consequently, the best judge of the strength of twister as it touches down will be your own senses and the speed of the wind whipping your face. The greatest tornado ever recorded was likely an F5. Fifty years before the creation of the Fujita scale, it wreaked havoc on 219 miles over 3.5
hours travelling at speeds of 73 miles an hour. Although the wind speeds were not recorded, the tornado damage was so extensive that experts suppose it worthy of an F5 status. In the words of one Colorado man, “This sure ain’t the rocky mountains Dorthy”, as he drove through the wind-torn states Kansas and Oklahoma. This man was taking a trip with his wife and kids. His wife’s name was actually Dorthy Rue, however ironic that is. His name was Bret and they had just gotten a good way into their route back east when they saw the first tornado in their lives. Unlike the west that is teaming with high mountains and other areas where tornadoes can’t develop. These central states have long fertile plains that make tornadoes a dime a dozen. Dorthy and the kids made it out alright but their car was trashed. Brett decided that he should have bought some better Auto Insurance from Colorado.
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