NOTE: We've guessed that
you're not using a client that supports colored tables and have tried
to compensate. Low graphics mode looks much better on clients that
do... we recommend switching to Netscape 3.0 or Microsoft Internet
determines the intensity of a hurricane
The intensity of a tropical cyclone is measured by the highest sustained
wind speed found within it. Once it becomes a
hurricane, the relative
strength of that hurricane is also measured on a scale based on its
greatest wind speed. This scale is named the Saffir-Simpson scale for
the men who invented it. The scale is listed below.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Damage-Potential Scale
| Scale Number
| Central Pressure
| Wind Speeds
| Storm Surge
some damage to trees, shrubbery, and unanchored mobile homes
major damage to mobile homes; damage buildings' roofs, and blow trees down
destroy mobile homes; blow down large trees; damage small buildings
completely destroy mobile homes; lower
floors of structures near shore are susceptible to flooding
extensive damage to homes and industrial buildings;
blow away small buildings; lower floors of structures within 500
meters of shore and
less than 4.5 m (15 ft) above sea level
The Saffir-Simpson scale categorizes hurricanes on a scale from 1 to 5.
Category 1 hurricanes are the weakest, and 5's the most intense.
Hurricanes strong enough to be considered intense start at category 3
or with sustained winds exceeding 96 knots (111 mph). For reference,
there have only been two category 5 hurricanes that made landfall on
the mainland U.S. (Florida Keys 1935 and Camille 1969). Recent
intense hurricanes to make landfall on the United States were Opal in
1995 and Fran in 1996.