Enhanced Fujita Scale

Enhanced Fujita Scale

Enhanced Fujita Scale

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The Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale) rates the strength of tornadoes in the United States based on the damage they cause.

Implemented in place of the Fujita scale introduced in 1971 by Ted Fujita, it began operational use on February 1, 2007. The scale has the same basic design as the original Fujita scale: six categories from zero to five representing increasing degrees of damage. It was revised to reflect better examinations of tornado damage surveys, so as to align wind speeds more closely with associated storm damage. Better standardizing and elucidating what was previously subjective and ambiguous, it also adds more types of structures, vegetation, expands degrees of damage, and better accounts for variables such as differences in construction quality.

The new scale was publicly unveiled by the National Weather Service at a conference of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta on February 2, 2006. It was developed from 2000 to 2004 by the Fujita Scale Enhancement Project of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University, which brought together dozens of expert meteorologists and civil engineers in addition to its own resources.

As with the Fujita scale, the Enhanced Fujita Scale remains a damage scale and only a proxy for actual wind speeds. While the wind speeds associated with the damage listed have not undergone empirical analysis (e.g., detailed physical or any numerical modelling) owing to excessive cost, the wind speeds were...
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