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Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

RedZone utilizes the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to determine the potential impact and potential property damage of hurricanes and tropical storms.

This scale is a 1-to-5 rating based on a storm’s sustained wind speed.  Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term “super typhoon” is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.

The criteria for each category are shown below:


1 74-95 Minimal: Damage to building structures possible, primarily to unanchored older model mobile homes. Damage to poorly constructed signs, shrubbery, and trees. Loose outdoor items become projectiles. Numerous power outages. Humberto
2 96-110 Widespread from very strong winds: Some roofing material, door, and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to trees, vegetation, mobile homes, and piers. A number of high rise building glass windows dislodged to become projectiles. Widespread power outages up to several days. Ike
3 111-129 Extensive from dangerous winds: Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with minor amount of wall failures. Mobile homes destroyed. Many trees uprooted or snapped. Power outages lasting several days or weeks. Alicia
4 130-156 Devastating from extremely dangerous winds: Some wall failures with complete house roof structure failures. Extensive damage to doors, windows, and trees. Electricity unavailable for weeks. Carla
5 >156 Catastrophic: Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small buildings blown over or away. Power outages for weeks or months. Andrew





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