On October 23, 1920, Tetsuya Theodore Fujita was born in Fukoka Prefecture, Japan. Fujita pioneered the analysis of photographs and films to determine a storm’s wind speeds. Fujita’s research revolutionized existing knowledge of weather systems.

Fujita was known as “Mr. Tornado.” He created the Fujita scale, which measures tornado intensity based on the damage inflicted on manmade structures and vegetation. The scale extends from F0, a storm with winds in the 60-116 kilometers per hour (40-72 mile per hour) range, up to F5, where winds can reach more than 500 kilometers per hour (310 miles per hour). An F5 tornado can rip a house from its foundation. The U.S. National Weather Service uses the Fujita scale to warn people about the strength of approaching tornadoes.

analysis
Noun

process of studying a problem or situation, identifying its characteristics and how they are related.

damage
Noun

harm that reduces usefulness or value.

determine
Verb

to decide.

Fujita scale
Noun

scale that measures the intensity of tornadoes, from F0 (weakest) to F5 (strongest).

inflict
Verb

to force something on something else.

pioneer
Noun

person who is among the first to do something.

revolutionize
Verb

to completely change a process or way of doing something.

storm
Noun

severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.

tornado
Noun

a violently rotating column of air that forms at the bottom of a cloud and touches the ground.

vegetation
Noun

all the plant life of a specific place.

weather system
Noun

movement of warm or cold air.

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