How Are Tornadoes Rated?


The Enhanced Fujita scale is used to rate the intensity of a tornado. The National Weather service surveys the damage and will rate the tornado after it’s over. They’ll inspect the type of structure that was damaged, how it was constructed and estimate how strong the winds were. 

The lowest rating on the scale is an EF 0 with wind speeds of 65-85 mph. Some minor damage can be expected. 

The next rating is an EF 1 with wind speeds ranging from 86 to 110 mph. Mobile homes can be overturned with severe damage done to the roof of your home. Most of our tornadoes here in North Dakota are EF zeros and ones. 

Now we’re getting into the strong categories of tornadoes with the EF 2. Winds of 111-135 mph. Roofs can be torn off of well-constructed homes and mobile homes completely destroyed. 

EF 3 has winds of 136 to 165. Entire stories of well-constructed homes can be leveled and heavy cars can be lifted and thrown. 

Devastating damage comes from EF 4s with wind speeds of 166 to 200 mph. Well constructed homes can be completely leveled. 

Incredible damage will come from an EF 5. With wind speeds in excess of 200 mph, it’s tough to survive this monster of a tornado. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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