Fujita scale

From Glossary of Meteorology

Fujita scale

(Also known as the F-scale.) Relates tornado intensity indirectly to structural and/or vegetative damage.

The estimated wind speed is calculated using the following formula: V = 6.30 (F + 2)1.5 m s−1. A six-point scale has been developed that corresponds to the following wind speed estimates:
F0 (light damage): 18–32 m s−1
F1 (moderate damage): 33–49 m s−1
F2 (considerable damage): 50–69 m s−1
F3 (severe damage): 70–92 m s−1
F4 (devastating damage): 93–116 m s−1
F5 (incredible damage):117–142 m s−1.

Although extremely dependent on the design of a structure and the tree type, the following visual characteristics of the damage have been assigned to the F-scale.
F0 - Some damage to chimneys; branches broken; shallow-rooted trees knocked over.
F1 - Surface of roofs peeled off; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off road.
F2 - Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted.
F3 - Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off ground and thrown.
F4 - Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off; large missiles generated.
F5 - Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances; automobile- sized missiles flying through the air for distances in excess of 100 m; trees debarked.

Fujita, T. 1981. Tornadoes and downbursts in the context of generalized planetary scales. J. Atmos. Sci., 38. 1511–1534.

Term edited 1 March 2021