How to Measure Hurricane Strength: Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale



Rate this Article: 

Average: 3.3 (112 votes)

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane's present intensity.

This hurricane scale is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall.

Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental shelf in the landfall region. Wind speeds are measured using a 1-minute average.

Note:The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS) was updated in 2012 to accomodate number rounding issues.

Category Average Wind (mph) Representative Hurricanes
Category One      74 - 95 Danny; 1997
Category Two      96 - 110 Bonnie & Georges; 1998
Category Three      111 - 129 Rita; 2005
Category Four      130 - 156 Charley; 2004
Category Five      157 + Andrew; 1992


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment



Keep Your New Garden Growing

keepgardengrowingcover.jpgTop 10 Veggies.
Almanac Editors Tips- water, feed, pest control, harvest


You will also be subscribed to our Almanac Companion Newsletter


Solar Energy Production Today

3.60 kWh

Live data from the solar array at The Old Farmer's Almanac offices in Dublin, NH.