There are five types or categories of hurricanes, which are classified on a 1-5 rating based on wind speed. Storms are rated on their strength based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Small storms are classified as category 1 or 2 storms, while those identified as 3-5 on the scale are considered major storms.
Category 1 storms are the smallest organized hurricanes, with sustained wind speeds of 74-95 mph. These storms may bring heavy rains and strong gusty winds. Category 2 storms have winds of 96-110 mph, while Category 3 storms have clocked wind speeds of 111-129 mph. Category 4 hurricanes have wind speeds of 130-156 mph, while the strongest storms, ranked as Category 5, have sustained winds exceeding 157 mph.Learn More
Hurricanes are measured according to the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. The scale goes from 1 to 5, with the weakest hurricanes scoring only a 1, while the strongest hurricanes score a 5 on the scale. Tropical storms must have sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour to be classified as a hurricane.Full Answer >
Storms classified as hurricanes generally originate in the tropical latitudes of the northern Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Tropical cyclones west of the International Date Line in the northern Pacific are called typhoons, and those that originate in the Indian Ocean or southern Pacific Ocean are simply called cyclones.Full Answer >
Florida has the most hurricane landfalls in the United States, with 110 accumulating from 1851 to 2004. Texas is second with 59 over the same span of time, and Louisiana is third with 49. North Carolina is fourth with 46 landfall strikes.Full Answer >
Hurricanes are made when tropical storms form over sections of the ocean with warm, moist air and enough wind to begin a spiral. The primary cause is the latent heat from water evaporating off the surface of the ocean, which causes atmospheric imbalances that can increase wind speeds to hurricane levels. These can be higher than 150 miles an hour around the hurricane's eye.Full Answer >