AnalysisWire is undertaking a detailed review of tornado data to provide our readers with up-to-date insight during tornado season. We start off with our first finding: the most dangerous tornadoes, Enhanced Fujita Scale EF5 tornadoes, are infrequent, particularly in comparison to the number of tornadoes reported. Since February 2007, when the National Weather Service implemented the Enhanced Fujita Scale ratings, there have only been 8 reported EF5 tornadoes in the United States. EF5 tornadoes have estimated three second gusts of over 200 miles per hour. Relative to the thousands of tornadoes that have been reported under this system, EF5 tornadoes comprise just 0.1% of all tornadoes.
Note: Tornado data is close to, but not identical to, the totals reported by the National Weather Service. We believe that we are using the data found here accurately, and we believe that any differences are immaterial.