WeatherWise Kids: How Are Tornadoes and Thunderstorms Rated?

Both tornadoes and thunderstorms are rated, but the ratings are a little bit different. 


Tornadoes are rated by how much destruction they do and wind speed on what we call the Enhanced Fujita Scale The scale goes from an EF-0, which is the lowest rating, to an EF-5, which is the highest rating. 


An EF-0 can knock down trees; while an EF-5 can completely flatten homes or even sweep them away.


Thunderstorms don’t get a number. Instead, they can be called “severe.” This means that winds have to be stronger than 58mph or the storm produces “dime size” hail or larger. All thunderstorms have lightning, and many have heavy rain, but neither makes a storm severe.


No matter what, if there is a tornado or thunderstorm near you, you need to get inside immediately!


Thanks for the question, Madison!

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