|Tetsuya Theodore Fujita|
October 23, 1920|
|Died||November 19, 1998
Chicago, Illinois, USA
|Residence||Japan, United States|
|Citizenship||Japan, United States (1968)|
|Institutions||University of Chicago|
|Alma mater||Kyushu Institute of Technology (B.S., 1943)
University of Tokyo (D.Sc., 1950)
|Thesis||Analytical Study of Typhoons (1952)|
|Doctoral advisor||Shigekata Syono|
|Doctoral students||Roger M. Wakimoto, Gregory S. Forbes|
|Other notable students||Brian Smith|
|Known for||tornadoes, tornadic storm morphology, Fujita scale, multiple-vortex tornadoes, downbursts, microbursts, mesoscale meteorology|
|Notable awards||Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star (1991)|
Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita (藤田 哲也 Fujita Tetsuya?, October 23, 1920 – November 19, 1998) was a prominent Japanese-American severe storms researcher. His research at the University of Chicago on severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and typhoons revolutionized knowledge of each.
Fujita was born in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. He studied at Kyushu Institute of Technology and was an associate professor there until 1953, when he was invited to the University of Chicago on the invitation of Horace R. Byers who had become interested in his research, particularly his independent discovery of the cold-air downdraft.
Fujita's best-known contributions were in tornado research; he was often called "Mr. Tornado" by his associates and by the media. In addition to developing the Fujita scale, Fujita was a pioneer in the development of tornado overflight and damage survey techniques, which he used to study and map  the paths of the two tornadoes that hit Lubbock, Texas on May 11, 1970. He established the value of photometric analysis of tornado pictures and films to establish wind speeds at various heights at the surface of tornado vortices. Fujita was also the first to widely study the meteorological phenomenon of the downburst, which can pose serious danger to aircraft. As a result of his work, pilot training worldwide routinely uses techniques he pioneered to provide instruction to students.
Fujita was also largely involved in developing the concept of multiple vortex tornadoes, which feature multiple small funnels (suction vortices) 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. He also advanced the concept of mini-swirls in intensifying tropical cyclones.
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) held the "Symposium on The Mystery of Severe Storms: A Tribute to the Work of T. Theodore Fujita" during its 80th Annual Meeting in January 2000 and also published a special issue of its flagship journal, the Bulletin in January 2001. After Fujita died, Storm Track magazine released a special November 1998 issue, "A Tribute To Dr. Ted Fujita" and Weatherwise published "Mr. Tornado: The life and career of Ted Fujita " as an article in its May/June 1999 issue.
World War II
Fujita in 1945 was residing in Kokura, the primary target of the first nuclear strike in human history by the uranium bomb (nicknamed Fat Man). On 6 August 1945, the first bomb was dropped on the secondary target at Hiroshima due to cloudy weather. Three days later on 9 August 1945, again the primary target was Kokura and, yet again, cloudy weather was present over Kokura making the bombardier aboard strike the secondary target city of Nagasaki. From this, the phrase "Kokura's Luck" came about, referring to when a great tragedy is avoided when the person or party is not even aware of the tragedy to begin with. Furthermore, studying the damage caused by the nuclear blasts contributed to his understanding of downbursts and microbursts as "starbursts" of wind hitting the Earth's surface and spreading out.
- Fujita, T.T. (1971). "Proposed Characterization of Tornadoes and Hurricanes by Area and Intensity". Satellite and Mesometeorology Research Paper 91 (Chicago, IL: Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago).
- USA Today 2005-03-16
- The Lubbock Tornado: May 11, 1970
- McDonald, James R. (2001). "T. Theodore Fujita: His Contribution to Tornadic Knowledge Through Damage Documentation and the Fujita Scale". Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 82 (1): 63–72. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(2001)000<0063:TTFHCT>2.3.CO;2.
- Wilson, James W.; R. M. Wakimoto (2001). "The Discovery of the Downburst: T.T. Fujita’s Contribution". Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 82 (1): 49–62. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(2001)082<0049:TDOTDT>2.3.CO;2.
- Symposium on The Mystery of Severe Storms: A Tribute to the Work of T. Theodore Fujita. Long Beach, CA. 2000.
- "A Tribute to the Works of T. Theodore Fujita". B. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 82 (1). 2001.
- Marshall, Tim et al. (1998). "A Tribute to Dr. Ted Fujita". Storm Track 22 (1).
- Rosenfeld, Jeff (1999). "Mr. Tornado: The life and career of Ted Fujita". Weatherwise 52 (3): 18–25. doi:10.1080/00431679909604293.
- Fujita, T. T., 1970b. The Lubbock tornadoes: a study of suction spots: Weatherwise, v. 23(4), p. 160-173. [published August, 1970] (first issued as SMRP 88)
- Shanahan, J. A., and Fujita, T. T., 1971c. The Lubbock tornadoes and Fujita suction vortices. Presented at October 18–22, 1971, ASCE Annual and National Environmental Engineering meeting, St. Louis. [October, 1971]
- Fujita, T. T., 1976g. Photogrammetric analysis of tornadoes, F. History of suction vortices, in Peterson, R. E., ed., Proceedings of the Symposium on Tornadoes, Assessment of Knowledge and Implications for Man: Institute for Disaster Research, Texas Technological University, Lubbock, p. 78-88. [June, 1976] (also issued as SMRP 140e)
- Fujita, T. T., and Forbes, G. S., 1976f. Photogrammetric analysis of tornadoes, D. Three scales of motion involving tornadoes, in Peterson, R. E., ed., Proceedings of the Symposium on Tornadoes, Assessment of Knowledge and Implications for Man: Institute for Disaster Research, Texas Technological University, Lubbock, p. 53-57. [June, 1976] (also issued as SMRP 140c)
- Grazulis, Thomas P. (1994). A Guide To: Tornado Video Classics II: The Magnificent Puzzle. The Tornado Project of Environmental Films, St. Johnsbury, VT. p. 37-78
- Fujita, Tetsuya Theodore (1992). Memoirs of an Effort to Unlock the Mystery of Severe Storms. WRL Research Paper Number 239.
- Tetsuya Fujita, 78, Inventor of Tornado Scale (The New York Times)
- Dr. Tetsuya Theodore Fujita (The Tornado Project)
- Tornadoes and Severe Weather - In Memory of Tetsuya T. Fujita (Dr. Kazuya Fujita)
- Mr. Tornado: Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita (Bio by Keith C. Heidorn)
- Fujita publications (Texas Tech University)
- Fujita archival records (Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University)
- Video of presentation at Tornado Symposium III, 4 April 1991
- Ted Fujita at the Internet Movie Database
- Ted Fujita at Find a Grave