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What are the tornado categories

Category Wind Speed Damage Category Percent of Occurrance
F0 40-72 mph Light 26%
F1 73-112 mph Moderate 37%
F2 113-157 mph Considerable 25%
F3 158-206 mph Severe 9%
F4 207-260 mph Devastating 2%
F5 261-318 mph Incredible 0.3%

Fortunately, the most destructive tornadoes are also the most rare. Only 2 out of 100 tornadoes are F4 or devastating, and only 3 out of 1000 are F5, or Incredible tornadoes. So the top two categories have less than 25 out of 1,000 tornadoes.

Dr. Fujita has written several books on this subject. You might research his writings, if you would like to know more about the characeristics of the tornados.

Wendell Bechtold, Meteorologist
Forecaster, National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office, St. Louis MO

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