National Weather Service Hurricane Preparedness Week: Day 3, Hurricane Winds
By Space Coast Daily // May 3, 2022
ARE YOU READY FOR HURRICANE SEASON?
BREVARD COUNTY • 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.
On average, there are 6 hurricanes that develop in the Atlantic Ocean each season with three of them becoming major hurricanes.