Hurricane Strength Scale

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The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used to estimate potential damage and flooding expected along a coast from a hurricane landfall.


Category 1_Winds 74-95 mph (119-153 kph)

Storm surge: 4-5 ft. (1.2-1.5 m)

Damage: Minimal signs, tree branches and power lines blown down; damage to mobile homes.


Category 2_Winds 96-100 mph (154-177 kph)

Storm surge: 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Damage: Moderate; some damage to roofs, windows; some downed trees.


Category 3_Winds 111-129 mph (178-208 kph)

Storm surge: 9-12 ft. (2.7-3.7 m)

Damage: Extensive; minor damage to buildings, homes; large trees blown down.


Category 4_Winds 130-156 mph (209-251 kph)

Storm surge: 13-18 ft. (4.0-5.5 m)

Damage: Extreme; almost total destruction of doors, windows; mobile homes destroyed.


Category 5_Winds more than 157 mph (252 kph)

Storm surge: Higher than 18ft. (5.5 m)

Damage: Catastrophic; buildings, roofs, structures destroyed; all trees, shrubs downed.


*This is brought to you by the U.S. National Hurricane Center*