A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm and comes into contact with the ground. In an average year about 1,000 tornadoes are reported nationwide, according to according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Tornado intensity is measured by the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale. The scale rates tornadoes on a scale of 0 through 5, based on the amount and type of wind damage. It incorporates 28 different “damage indicators,” based on damage to a wide variety of structures ranging from trees to shopping malls.
The Fujita Scale For Tornadoes
||Original F scale (1)
||Enhanced F scale (2)
||Wind speed (mph)
||3-second gust (mph)
(1) Original scale: wind speeds represent fastest estimated speeds over one quarter of a mile.
(2) Enhanced scale: wind speeds represent maximum 3-second gusts.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Number Of Tornadoes And Related Deaths Per Month, 2020 (1)
(1) Excludes Puerto Rico. A tornado that crosses state lines is counted as a single event in this chart.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Storm Prediction Center, National Weather Service.
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