What is a Tornado?

A tornado is a narrow, violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of a thunderstorm cloud to the ground.

How strong are tornadoes?

Tornado strength is categorized by damage. Based on the damages, where wind speeds are estimated through the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Where/when does a tornado occur?

Tornadoes occur in many parts of the world. The U.S. has one of the highest tornado occurrences in the world, with the Midwest and Southeast having a greater risk of tornadoes.

For more information regarding the probability of tornadoes throughout the year, please visit the Storm Prediction Center.

What are the Expected Damages of the Enhanced Fujita Scale?

  • EF-0: Minor Damage - shingles blown off
  • EF-1: Moderate Damage - windows broken, external doors damaged/lost, or mobile homes turned over or damaged
  • EF-2: Considerable Damage - roofs torn off, houses shifted from foundation, mobile homes completely destroyed
  • EF-3: Severe Damage – significant damage to large buildings, homes with weak foundations blown away
  • EF-4: Extreme Damage – well constructed homes are leveled, cars are thrown significant distances
  • EF-5: Massive/Incredible Damage – steel reinforced concrete structures are critically damaged
Enhanced Fujita Scale