Tetsuya Theodore Fujita

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Tetsuya Theodore Fujita (藤田哲也, October 23, 1920November 19, 1998) was one of the great severe storms researchers of the twentieth century. His research on severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and typhoons revolutionized mankind's knowledge of each.

He is recognized as the discoverer of downbursts and microbursts and also developed the Fujita scale which links tornado damage with wind speed.

Fujita's major contributions were in tornado research—he was often called "Mr. Tornado" by his associates and by the media. Much of what we now know about tornadoes was either discovered or advanced by his efforts. In addition to the Fujita scale, he was a pioneer in the development of tornado overflight and damage survey techniques. He established the value of photometric analysis of tornado pictures and films, to establish wind speeds at various heights at the surface of a funnel cloud.

In another major addition to tornado knowledge, he was instrumental in developing the concept of multiple vortex tornadoes, which feature multiple small funnels rotating within a larger parent cloud. His work established that, far from being rare events as was previously believed, most powerful tornadoes were composed of multiple vortices.

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