Ask Josh Fitzpatrick: Rating Tornadoes

What is the EF-Scale? How does it measure a tornadoes damage? Meteorologist Josh Fitzpatrick explains.

We've seen a lot of damage across the region with historic tornado damage and paths from Friday night's severe weather outbreak.  When we talk about a tornadoes damage path you'll often hear us mention the scale of damage using the Fujita scale. 


Amy in Boyd County, Kentucky asks: "What exactly is the Fujita scale and what scale?



In the early 1970s, University of Chicago meteorology professor, Dr. Theodore Fujita developed a scale to rate a tornado’s damage.  It starts with zero, being the weakest and ends with five, being the strongest.  In 2007 the scale was enhanced and is now known as the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale.  It was enhanced because the old scale's wind speeds were too high.  It's now known it doesn't take those very high winds to cause the damage seen. 


I made a couple graphics showing the paths the twisters took Friday night. 




Those paths over WV and KY are historic.  That's never happened in this part of our region before. 


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