What is the difference between an F5 tornado and an EF5?

July 23, 2008 10:42:11 AM PDT
In 2005, the National Weather Service changed the old standard "F" scale for rating tornadoes.

Erica's Answer:

Their intent was to more accurately assess the tornado's wind speed based on the damage the tornado had caused. However, the result has been more confusion than enlightenment! The new "EF" scale, or Enhanced Fujita scale, is as follows:

EF Number 3 Second Gust (mph)

0 65-85

1 86-110

2 111-135

3 136-165

4 166-200

5 Over 200

The new EF scale, in general, contains lighter wind speeds than the original F scale. The damage scale remains basically unchanged, though; whether F5 or EF5, the "5" designation is still the top of the scale.

- Erica

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