Is it possible that the Fujita F-scale of tornado intensity goes up through F-12?

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Dear Tom,
I recently heard that the Fujita F-scale of tornado intensity goes up through F-12. Is that possible?


Thom Bradley,
Chicago


Dear Thom,
The Fujita Tornado Scale does technically distinguish 12 levels of wind intensity even though the maximum twister wind speeds have risen only to the F-5 category (261 to  318 mph). University of Chicago Professor Dr. Theodore Fujita developed the scale after investigating a Lubbock, Texas, tornado in 1970. F-0 intensity was for wind speeds of 40-70 mph and F-5 intensity tornadoes produce winds up to 318 mph. The F-Scale was revised in 2007 to lower wind speeds to more closely represent the wind speeds in tornadoes. An F-6 tornado is believed to be highly unlikely and such a twister’s damage might be indistinguishable from the catastrophic damage of an F-5. F-12 winds are at the speed of sound, 762 mph.

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