The Stories
25 Years Later
The Extras
The Credits
© 2018
The Grand Island Independent
422 W 1st Street.
Grand Island, NE 68801
308-382-1000
Terms of Use | Contacts | Advertise
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
AP materials © Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Twenty Years
The Fujita scale of tornadoes

Following is the Fujita Scale rating the intensity of tornadoes. It was developed by the late Dr. Ted Fujita, "Mr. Tornado," with the help of Allen Pearson, former director of the National Severe Storm Forecast Center in Norman, Okla.

The seven tornadoes that struck Grand Island on May 3, 1980, were classified as one F4, two F3s, one F2 and three F1s.

F-Scale Number, Intensity Phrase, Wind Speed

Type of Damage Done

F0, Gale tornado, 40-72 mph

Some damage to chimneys; breaks branches off trees; pushes over shallow-rooted trees; damages sign boards.

F1, Moderate tornado, 73-112 mph

The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane wind speed; peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the roads; attached garages may be destroyed.

F2, Significant tornado, 113-157 mph

Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated.

F3, Severe tornado, 158-206 mph

Roof and some walls torn off well constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted

F4, Devastating tornado, 207-260 mph

Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.

F5, Incredible tornado, 261-318 mph

Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters; trees debarked; steel reinforced concrete structures badly damaged.

F6, Inconceivable tornado, 319-379 mph

These winds are very unlikely. The small area of damage they might produce would probably not be recognizable along with the mess produced by F4 and F5 wind that would surround the F6 winds. Missiles, such as cars and refrigerators would do serious secondary damage that could not be directly identified as F6 damage. If this level is ever achieved, evidence for it might only be found in some manner of ground swirl pattern, for it may never be identifiable through engineering studies.