The Fujita Scale - Tornado Damage Scale

Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-Scale)

The Enhanced Fujita Scale is the tornado rating scale currently used in the United States of America. A tornado is rated from one of six categories (EF0, EF1, EF2, EF3, EF4 or EF5) on this scale. The weakest tornado is an EF0, while the strongest is an EF5. It was developed between 2000 and 2004 by the Fujita Scale Enhancement Project. It has the same basic design as the retried Fujita Scale, but includes damage indicators and realigned the weed speeds for each category.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale became operational in February 2007 and replaced the Fujita Scale as the method used to rate tornadoes. Below you’ll find information about each one of the six rating categories for this scale and its damage indicators. Additionally, we provide pictures of every tornado that for each of the categories. You can click on the name of each category to learn more about it and tornadoes that were given that rating.


Enhanced Fujita Scale Categories

Below are descriptions of each of the six categories (EF0 through EF5) on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.


EF0 Tornado

An EF0 Tornado will cause minor damage. Winds between 65 and 85 mph (105 and 137 km/h). Some roofs will have debris peeled off, basic damage to siding and gutters, tree branches broken off, smaller trees with shallow roots will be pushed over. Tornadoes reported with no damage are always rated an EF0.


EF1 Tornado

An EF1 Tornado will cause moderate damage. Winds between 86 and 110 mph (138 and 177 km/h). Roofs will be mostly stripped off, mobile homes can be overturned and/or badly damaged, exterior door damage, broken winds.


EF2 Tornado

An EF2 Tornado will cause considerable damage. Winds between 111 and 135 mph (178 and 217 km/h). Well-constructed homes will have their roofs torn off, framed homes can have their foundation shifted, mobile homes will be completely destroyed, larger trees will snap in half or be uprooted, cars can be lifted off the ground and light objects can become missiles.


EF3 Tornado

An EF3 Tornado will cause severe damage. Winds between 136 and 165 mph (218 and 266 km/h). Well-constructed and framed homes can be completely destroyed, large buildings can sustain heavy damage, entire trains can be overturned, trees can have their bark completely torn off, weak foundations will sustain heavy damage.


EF4 Tornado

An EF4 Tornado will cause devastating. Winds between 166 and 200 mph (267 and 322 km/h). Most homes will be completely destroyed, framed homes can be completely swept away, cars and car sized objects can be thrown a considerable distance and medium size object can become missiles.


EF5 Tornado

An EF5 Tornado will cause incredible damage. Winds greater than 200 mph (323+ km/h). Total destruction or severe damage to strong-framed homes and large structures. Objects such as train cars, cars and trucks can be thrown almost 1 mile (1.6 kilometers).


Enhanced Fujita Scale Damage Indicators

There are currently 28 damage indicators (DI) currently used by the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Damage Number Damage Indicator (DI) Degrees of Damage (DOD)
1 Small barns, farm outbuildings SBO
2 One- or two-family residences FR12
3 Single-wide mobile home (MHSW) MHSW
4 Double-wide mobile home MHDW
5 Apt, condo, townhouse (3 stories or less) ACT
6 Motel M
7 Masonry apt. or motel MAM
8 Small retail bldg. (fast food) SRB
9 Small professional (doctor office, branch bank) SPB
10 Strip mall SM
11 Large shopping mall LSM
12 Large, isolated ("big box") retail bldg. LIRB
13 Automobile showroom ASR
14 Automotive service building ASB
15 School - 1-story elementary (interior or exterior halls) ES
16 School - jr. or sr. high school JHSH
17 Low-rise (1-4 story) bldg. LRB
18 Mid-rise (5-20 story) bldg. MRB
19 High-rise (over 20 stories) HRB
20 Institutional bldg. (hospital, govt. or university) IB
21 Metal building system JMBS
22 Service station canopy SSC
23 Warehouse (tilt-up walls or heavy timber) WHB
24 Transmission line tower TLT
25 Free-standing tower FST
26 Free standing pole (light, flag, luminary) FSP
27 Tree - hardwood TH
28 Tree - softwood TS