FAQs about Hurricanes

10. What is the Saffir-Simpson scale?

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale is a table that classifies tropical cyclones according to wind intensity, developed in 1969 by civil engineer Herbert Saffir member of a UN commission. The scale consists of five levels, based on the speed of the winds, also related to damage to buildings. Saffir gave the scale to the National Hurricane Center in the United States. Sometime later, Simpson, director of the National Hurricane Center of the United States, improved the scale by adding wave effects and floods. However, it should be noted that the Saffir-Simpson scale does not consider the amount of precipitation or the location of the winds, which means that a category 3 hurricane that hits a large city can cause more damage than a hurricane category 5 that affects a cleared or sparsely populated area. The Saffir-Simpson wind scale classifies hurricanes into five categories:

Category 1: 119-153 km/h – 74-95 mph / No damage to building structures.

Category 2: 154-177 km/h – 96-110 mph / Damage to roofs, doors and windows

Category 3: 178-209 km/h – 111-130 mph / Structural damage in small buildings

Category 4: 210-249 km/h – 131- 155 mph / Generalized damage to protective structures.

Category 5: 250+ km/h – 156+ mph / Complete roof destruction in some buildings

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