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 category weed speeds.
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 a tornado for each of the category. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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|
|7||Masonry apt. or motel||MAM|
|8||Small retail bldg. (fast food)||SRB|
|9||Small professional (doctor office, branch bank)||SPB|
|11||Large shopping mall||LSM|
|12||Large, isolated (“big box”) retail bldg.||LIRB|
|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|
|26||Free standing pole (light, flag, luminary)||FSP|
|27||Tree – hardwood||TH|
|28||Tree – softwood||TS|