Read straight down throught the page or jump to the Beaufort, Fujita, or Saffir-Simpson table directly.


Information for the Beaufort Scale wind speed table was taken from Merriam-Webster Online on their Beaufort Scale table.

Beaufort Scale
Name Wind Speed Description
0 calm <1 <1 calm; smoke rises vertically
1 light air 1-3 1-5 direction of wind shown by smoke but not by wind vanes
2 light breeze 4-7 6-11 wind felt on face; leaves rustle; wind vane
3 gentle breeze 8-12 12-19 leaves and small twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag
4 moderate breeze 13-18 20-28 wind raises dust and loose paper; small branches move
5 fresh breeze 19-24 29-38 small-leaved trees begin to sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters
6 strong breeze 25-31 39-49 large branches move; overhead wires whistle; umbrellas difficult to control
7 moderate gale or near gale 32-38 50-61 whole trees sway; walking against wind is difficult
8 fresh gale or gale 39-46 62-74 twigs break off trees; moving cars veer
9 strong gale 47-54 75-88 slight structural damage occurs; shingles may blow away
10 whole gale or storm 55-63 89-102 trees uprooted; considerable structural damage occurs
11 storm or violent storm 64-72 103-117 widespread damage occurs
12 hurricane * >72 >117 widespread damage occurs
* The United States uses 74 statute mph as the speed criterion for a hurricane.


Information for the Fujita Scale table was taken from the Fujita Scale page of the Tornado Project site, and Wikipedia provided wind speeds for the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The Fujita / Enhanced-Fujita Scale
Intensity Phrase F Wind Speed EF Wind Speed Type of Damage Done
F0 / EF0 Gale tornado 40-72 mph 65-85 mph Some damage to chimneys; breaks branches off trees; pushes over shallow-rooted trees; damages sign boards.
F1 / EF1 Moderate tornado 73-112 mph 86-110 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 / EF2 Significant tornado 113-157 mph 111-135 mph Considerable damage; roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated.
F3 / EF3 Severe tornado 158-206 mph 136-165 mph Roof and some walls torn off well constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted.
F4 / EF4 Devastating tornado 207-260 mph 166-200 mph Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.
F5 / EF5 Incredible tornado 261-318 mph 201+ 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 re-inforced concrete structures badly damaged.
F6 Inconceivable tornado 319-379 mph --- These winds are very unlikely.


Information for the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane table was taken from the site.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Wind Speed
in MPH
Damage Examples
(States Affected)
1 74-95 Minimal 1988 Florence (Louisiana)
1986 Charley (North Carolina)
2 96-110 Moderate 1985 Kate (Florida Panhandle)
1991 Bob (Rhode Island)
3 111-130 Extensive 1983 Alicia (N Texas)
1993 Emily (North Carolina Outer Banks)
4 131-155 Extreme 1992 Andrew (S Florida)
1989 Hugo (South Carolina)
5 >155 Catastrophic 1969 Camille (Louisiana/Mississippi)
1935 Labor Day Hurricane (Florida Keys)