Hurricane categories – what is the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, what do levels 1 to 5 mean and has there ever been a level 6 hurricane?

STORMS are categorised using what’s known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Different types of damage may occur depending on each storm category.

What do levels 1 to 5 mean?

Category 1 – 74-94 mph: Damage to building structures, poorly constructed signs, shrubbery, and trees while loose outdoor items become projectiles. Numerous power outages.

Category 2 – 96-110 mph:. As above plus a number of high rise building glass windows dislodged to become missile while electricity could be out for several days.

Category 3 – 111-129 mph: Devastating damage.

Category 4 – 130 -156 mph: Catastrophic destruction to roofs and walls of buildings.

Category 5 – 156 mph: Most homes flattened.

Has there even been a level 6 hurricane?

This category doesn’t exist officially, but there have been calls for this.

This would be a hurricane with winds beyond 156mph.

Some forecasters believe it is only a matter of time before a category 6 or even 7 becomes a reality as global warming makes weather more extreme.

What is the Saffir-Simpson wind scale?

This scale is used to give an estimate of the possible property damage and flooding expected along the coast when a hurricane hits land.

The combination of storm surge, wind, and other factors determine the hurricane's total destructive power

It has five categories with Category 1 meaning a weak hurricane and to a worst case scenario of Category 5.



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