NWS Hurricane Preparedness Week: Day 3, Hurricane Winds

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ARE YOU READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON?

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale was created in 1971 by Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson to classify hurricanes by their wind speed. (NWS image)

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale was created in 1971 by Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson to classify hurricanes by their wind speed. (NWS image)

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA –  The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale was created in 1971 by Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson to classify hurricanes by their wind speed.

Similar scales are also used in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

Hurricanes are categorized on a 1 to 5 scale based on the maximum sustained surface wind speed, which is defined as the peak 1-minute wind at an unobstructed height of 33 feet. However gusts within a storm may be much higher than its sustained speed.

If a hurricane reaches wind speeds that correspond to categories 3, 4, and 5 on the scale, they are considered “Major Hurricanes.”

Once a storm reaches a certain category, it is always known by that category for historical purposes regardless of its intensity at landfall.

NWS Hurricane Preparedness Week: Day 2, Storm SurgeRelated Story:
NWS Hurricane Preparedness Week: Day 2, Storm Surge

On average, there are 6 hurricanes that develop in the Atlantic Ocean each season with three of them becoming major hurricanes.

Question: Can you name the last year an Atlantic hurricane made landfall in the US as a major hurricane? Can you name the storm?


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