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Hurricane Central

What do Hurricane Categories mean?

We’ve become accustomed to hearing the one to five rating for hurricanes, but do you know what those categories mean?

Most people simply want to know how much water and wind to expect, and what a hurricane will mean for their safety. Hurricane categories can’t predict everything about a storm, but categories give an indication of how what to potentially expect.

Here’s what you need to know about hurricane categories:

Saffir Simpsom Hurricane Wind Scale

Category One Hurricane:
Sustained winds of 74-95 mph, 64-82 kt, or 119-153 km/hr. Very dangerous winds will produce some damage. People, pets, and livestock could be injured or killed by flying or falling debris.

Category Two Hurricane:
Sustained winds of 96-110 mph, 83-95 kt, or 154-177 km/hr. Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage. Substantial risk of injury or death to people, pets, and livestock due to flying and falling debris.

Category Three Hurricane:
Sustained winds of 111-129 mph, 96-112 kt, or 178-208 km/hr. Devastating damage will occur. High risk of injury or death to people, pets, and livestock due to debris.

Category Four Hurricane:
Sustained winds of 130-156 mph, 113-136 kt, or 209-251 km/hr. Catastrophic damage will occur. Very high risk of injury or death to people, pets, and livestock due to debris. Nearly all older (pre-1994) and a high percentage of newer mobile homes will be destroyed.

Category Five Hurricane:
Sustained winds greater than 157mph, greater than 137 kt, or greater than 252 km/hr. Catastrophic damage will occur. Very high risk of injury or death to people, pets, and livestock
from debris, even if indoors in mobile homes or framed homes.