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Deadly tornadoes reported in Oklahoma as severe threat continues today

2:52 a.m. ET, May 7, 2024

Tornado strength is rated on the EF Scale. Here’s what that means

The National Weather Service rates the strength of tornadoes using the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale, which ranks tornadoes from 0 to 5 by assessing damage and determining wind speed.

Here’s the damage associated with each level:

EF0: 65- to 85-mph wind gusts

These tornadoes are the least destructive and typically break tree branches, damage road signs and push over small, shallow-rooted trees.

EF1: 86- to 110-mph wind gusts

With similar wind speeds to weak hurricanes, these tornadoes can push moving cars off course, shift mobile homes from their foundations and remove roof surfaces.

EF2: 111- to 135-mph wind gusts

Significant damage starts to emerge from these tornadoes, which can snap or uproot trees, destroy mobile homes and tear roofs completely off homes.

They also can pick up small objects and turn them into dangerous projectiles.

EF3: 136- to 165-mph wind gusts

These tornadoes produce severe damage, uprooting nearly all trees in their path, blowing over large vehicles like trains and buses and significantly damaging buildings.

Less than 5% of all tornadoes are rated EF3 or higher.

EF4: 166- to 200-mph wind gusts

Easily destroying homes, tossing cars and downing large trees, these tornadoes can be devastating.

EF5: 200+-mph wind gusts

These monsters cause complete devastation, flattening nearly everything in their path.

They are rare, with only 59 have been recorded in the United States since 1950, according to the Storm Prediction Center.