The Fujita scale is a scale to measure and categorize the intensity of a tornado. It was created and introduced by Tetsuya Fujita in 1971 to the University of Chicago. Two years later it was updated to include more variables and eventually became of use the standard scale for tornado classification. The Fujita scale goes from F0-F12 (F12 being Mach 1, or the speed of sound). A tornado reaching F8 or higher physically impossible, and were only put on the scale as a possibility. F6, and, possibly, F7, are the highest ratings that are physically possible for a tornado to reach.

The Fujita scale was officially replaced by the United States with the Enhanced fujita scale in February 2007, although the Fujita scale is still used in some places.

Fujita Scaling

This table is only recognizing the first five levels due to the others being a high improbability.

Scale Estimated wind speed Potential damage
mph km/h
F0 40–72 64–116 An F0 tornado produces very light damage to structures. It could break tree limbs off, destroy street signs, and peel off siding. It mostly can't pick up older humans or large animals. A window or two may be broken.
F1 73–112 117–180 An F1 is a more powerful than an F0, as it can tear apart roofs, pick up cars, and can damage mobile houses. It can pick up a human if they are standing close enough.
F2 113–157 181–253 An F2 tornado can rip roofs off of entire homes, mobile homes are demolished, cars pushed over, large trees snapped or uprooted if they're smaller, and larger building windows are shattered.
F3 158–206 254–332 An F3 can tear roofs right off of the house, along with moving trains, uprooting the strongest trees, and cars are lifted up and thrown around. It can also flatten weaker houses.
F4 207–260 333–418 An F4 tornado can completely level well-constructed houses and structures with weaker foundations that are blown away, and cars are picked up off of the ground and can be thrown a distance away.
F5 261–318 419–512 An F5 is considered by many to be the strongest possible form of a tornado, being able to destroy strong framed houses, cause heavy damage to concrete buildings, and throws trains a far distance.

F6 and higher

A tornado reaching F6 on the Fujita scale is extremely unlikely, and a tornado reaching F8 or higher would be physically impossible, although an F7 tornado could theoretically be possible if the perfect conditions were met.

Scale Estimated wind speed Potential damage
mph km/h
F6 319–379 513-610 An F6 tornado arguably occurred during the 1999 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado, although this only occurred for a short time and was an F5 for a majority of its duration, so most don't count it. If a tornado stably reached F6, it would cause catastrophic amounts of damage, capable of leveling concrete reinforced buildings, carry and disintegrate bridges, and destroy large buildings.
F7 380-440 611–708 Jaw-dropping amounts of damage. An F7 tornado would have the potential to destroy large portions of entire cities, wipe entire neighborhoods off the face of the planet, and destroy even the strongest buildings.
F8 441-506 709–814 Horrendous amounts of damage. An F8 tornado would be able to completely destroy cities.
F9 507-579 815–931 Apocalyptic amounts of damage. An F9 tornado would have the potential to completely annihilate cities, and kill thousands, if not tens of thousands of nearby people in a single moment.
F10 577-651 928–1047 Cataclysmic amounts of damage. Tens of thousands dead. Anything in the path of an F10 tornado would be completely evaporated.
F11 651-731 1047-1176 There would be no words for an F11 tornado. Anything even remotely close to this monster would be completely annihilated, no questions asked.
F12 732 - 812+ 1178-1306+ Anything in the path of this monster tornado would quite literally no longer exist. There would be no debris, bodies, or anything found, as they would be literally disintegrated. If this tornado were to occur, it would be as fast (or even faster) than a Mach 1.