Hurricane Categories Explained

How fast do the winds have to be, before it is a Hurricane? How can Weather Forecasters tell what Category a Hurricane is? Which Hurricanes should we fear? These are all questions we have either asked as we watch the news during Hurricane Seasons. Currently we watch Hurricane Dennis move towards populated lands. Some winds were clocked at 144 to 150 miles per hour. What kind of damage might be caused at that level?

We can see from Dennis the Menace that perhaps an investment in Cuban Cigars might be a good idea as next years tobacco crop could be nearly wiped out as Hurricane webmastershall Dennis parallels just off the coast of Cuba and will cross over Haiti. Economically speaking oil prices are also going to spike from Dennis as oil platforms are evacuated and shut down and distribution and deliveries are halted mid shipment.

There are two-different scales used to describe winds. One is the Beaufort Scale, which describes the winds which are below Hurricane Force Levels. Then we have in place the Saffir-Simpson Scale, which describes Hurricane Force Winds. On the Beaufort Scale uses terms such as; calm, light air, slight breeze, gentle breeze, moderate breeze, fresh breeze, which take us from 0-21 miles per hour winds. When winds get beyond this strength the terms change to Strong Breeze, Moderate Gale, Fresh Gale and Strong Gale which takes us up to 54 miles per hour. Then we go onto winds which are considered dangerous; Whole Gale at 55 to 63 mph; Storm 64-73 mph (this includes what meteorologists call “Tropical Storms” then we have Hurricane winds about 74 mph. This is where the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Categories start. A Category I Hurricane starts at 74 mph and goes all the way up to 95 miles per hour. Although a Category I Hurricanes are the lowest level of Hurricanes. Category II is 96-110 mph; Category III is 111-130 mph; Category IV is 131 to 155 and Category V is 156 plus miles per hour; right now Hurricane Dennis the Menace is at category Four as it parallels Cuba it slams the coast line and heads towards the United States.

Category I Hurricanes knock down signage, blow off roof tiles, knock down trees with weak roots systems, take small boats and smash them on the docks and they are definitely not safe to rid our in mobile homes. If you are driving a high-profile vehicle you will be turned over. Category II Hurricanes create heavy damage to trees, docks and marinas, trees and mobile homes. Category III Hurricanes can expect large trees to be knocked down, many mobile homes destroyed, damage to roofs, windows, doors. Those smaller buildings near the shore are often destroyed and flooding near coastline should be expected in Cat III Hurricanes. In Category IV we get into serious damage especially near shoreline with no signs left standing, mobile homes completely destroyed, major damage to near shore buildings, widespread and massive flooding, loss of beach through erosion and most all homes will sustain damage. In Category V Hurricanes there is massive and catastrophic damage with completely destroyed roofs and often entire buildings blown away and left in rubble. Smaller buildings are literally blown away and most buildings near the shore do not make it at all. Road ways near shoreline and bridges are severely damaged and costs are registered in the Billions. To help you put these Categories in perspective a Category V Hurricane can do 500 Hundred times the damage as a Category I Hurricane. So just because a Hurricane has a name does not mean it will be a demon type Hurricane. Some Hurricanes may remain a menace and others grow up to be Killers. Hurricane Dennis appears to be reforming and should maintain a Category IV or higher, this will definitely be worse than a bad hair day. Think on this.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; Lance is an online writer in retirement.



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