How Hurricanes are Categorized

Hurricane season is right around the corner. Here's how the storms are categorized.

Posted: Aug 2, 2019 7:51 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Hurricanes don't directly hit the valley, but the path they take, and their strength can bring us some of the storms effects.

We use what's called the Saffir-Simpson scale to classify the storms, and to measure strength.

Until a storm tops wind speeds of 74 miles per hour, it is called a tropical storm, not a hurricane.

Category one, these storms have sustained wind speeds of 74 to 95 miles per hour. Compared to higher categories, this one brings minimal damage.

At category two, wind speeds are sustained between 96 and 110 miles per hour. Small trees can be uprooted at this point.

Category three is next. This is when you can start seeing extensive damage to homes.

Wind speeds at this point are between 111 and 129 miles per hour.

Category four is next. Power line poles can be snapped at this point, because wind speeds are between 130 and 156 miles per hour.

Finally, category five. This is the strongest of hurricanes, because it is anything with wind speeds above 157 miles per hour.

Now again, while the hurricane won't directly hit us, the strength and track of the storm can bring us weather.

A hurricane loses a significant amount of power when it hits land, but if strong enough, the storm can carry rain into the Wabash Valley.

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