The enhanced Fujita scale: Development and implementation

James R. McDonald, Kishor C. Mehta, Douglas A. Smith, J. Arn Womble

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The original Fujita Scale (F Scale) was introduced as a means of estimating the intensity of tornadoes and hurricanes by relating appearance of damage to wind speeds. The relationships were based on the extensive experience of Dr. Fujita but were never independently verified. Furthermore, the importance of construction quality was not recognized, and the number of damage indicators was limited. The Wind Science and Engineering group at Texas Tech University agreed to lead an effort to improve the original scale. The improved scale, known as the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale), defines 28 damage indicators and a number of degrees of damage for each one. A process of expert elicitation was used to relate estimates of expected, upper and lower bound wind speeds for each degree of damage. The Enhanced Fujita Scale was then correlated with the Fujita Scale by means of a regression equation. The National Weather Service implemented the Enhanced scale in February 2007. In its present form, the EF Scale is applicable only to tornado intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForensic Engineering 2009
Subtitle of host publicationPathology of the Built Environment - Proceedings of the 5th Congress on Forensic Engineering
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2010
Event5th Congress on Forensic Engineering - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Nov 11 2009Nov 14 2009

Publication series

NameForensic Engineering, Proceedings of the Congress


Conference5th Congress on Forensic Engineering
CountryUnited States
CityWashington, DC

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    McDonald, J. R., Mehta, K. C., Smith, D. A., & Womble, J. A. (2010). The enhanced Fujita scale: Development and implementation. In Forensic Engineering 2009: Pathology of the Built Environment - Proceedings of the 5th Congress on Forensic Engineering (pp. 719-728). (Forensic Engineering, Proceedings of the Congress).