Dr. Tetsuya “Ted” Fujita shaped the field of meteorology with his research surrounding tornadoes, satellites, and microbursts. The strength of tornadoes are categorized from F0 to F5 by using the Fujita Scale.
In August 1947, Fujita spent hours inside a leaky weather shack atop Seburi-yama Mountain in southern Japan, surrounded by lightning and 50-mile-per-hour winds and taking scrupulous measurements: of wind direction and speed, temperature, air pressure, dew point and other variables. After combining his data with those of other local weather stations, he developed complex weather maps of the storm, indicating high- and low-pressure fronts and the direction of wind movement. Fujita’s visualizations were far more information-dense and artful than other maps at the time. Through his study of the data, he also developed a theory: updrafts of warm air in thunderstorms were accompanied by cool, equally powerful downdrafts at their backsides.
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