Communicating the risk posed by Hurricane Sandy when it approached the coast of the northeastern United States in 2012 was made more difficult because Sandy was a very large hurricane but was only rated category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale
. The current version of the Saffir-Simpson scale is based solely on the maximum sustained wind speed, and it works reasonably well for hurricanes with a typical structure and average size.
At latest report, the NHC said the storm was packing sustained winds of up to 120 miles per hour (195 km per hour), jumping from a Category 2 to Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale
. Winds of that magnitude can inflict substantial damage to roofs and walls of even well-constructed homes, according to the National Weather Service.
Several meteorologists and disaster experts said something needs to change with the 47-year-old Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
to reflect the real risks in hurricanes.
Florence is currently a Category 4 storm on the five-point Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale
and is forecast to slam into the Carolinas late Thursday or early Friday.
A Category 4 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale
, Florence was 410 miles south of Bermuda and the center of the hurricane was forecast to move between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its 5:00 am (0900 GMT) advisory.
Hurricanes are ranked 1 to 5 according to what is known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
. Hurricane Lane is at category 4, which means winds from 130 to 156 mph (251 kph).
In the latest advisory, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has downgraded Hurricane Irma to a Category two on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
, with maximum sustained winds near 110mph with higher gusts.
In future works, the relationship between the wind scale
, structural strength, and deformations could be investigated further.
According to Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for NOAA's National Hurricane Center (NHC), "As of October 24, 2016, it will be a complete 11 years since a major hurricane has struck the United States, as defined by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
of being a Category 3 or higher.
20 in Vitu Levi, eastern Fiji as a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
. Winston was the first cyclone of that strength to make landfall in Fiji in recorded history.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Winston was following a path that might spare Suva the full force of its winds, rated as category 5, the highest ranking on the hurricane wind scale
In other words, the wind scale
should live up to one certain range; then sail can be in effect accordingly.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
rates hurricanes based on their peak sustained wind speed.
Of those, one to two are expected to become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale