Q:

What is the minimum speed of hurricane winds?

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Quick Answer

To be classified as a hurricane, a storm must have sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour. On the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, a Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds of from 74 to 95 miles per hour.

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What is the minimum speed of hurricane winds?
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Full Answer

The wind speeds incurred during a Category 1 hurricane are powerful enough to damage exterior structures on houses and other buildings, fell branches from trees, uproot smaller trees and damage power lines. A Category 2 hurricane has sustained winds of 96 to 110 miles per hour, and the winds of a Category 3 range from 111 to 129 miles per hour. A Category 4 hurricane has winds from 130 to 156 miles per hour, and the most catastrophic hurricane, a Category 5, has winds of 157 miles per hour or greater.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do hurricanes form?

    A:

    Hurricanes form when a precise set of weather conditions are met that cause a wind storm to develop sustained speeds of at least 74 miles per hour. Despite these conditions often being met, it is rare that a storm develops into a hurricane.

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  • Q:

    What is the relationship between hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones?

    A:

    Hurricanes, typhoons and tropical cyclones all refer to storms in which the winds reach more than 74 miles per hour. The difference in the names refers to the location where the storm originates. A hurricane is confined to the North Atlantic Ocean and the Northeast Pacific Ocean. A typhoon originates in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, and a cyclone occurs in the Indian Ocean, states the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

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  • Q:

    How quickly do winds inside a tornado move?

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    The winds produced in a tornado can be less than 100 miles per hour, or they can exceed 300 miles per hour. The Enhanced Fujita Scale ranges from EF 0 to EF 5, and this scale is used to estimate the wind damage produced by a tornado.

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  • Q:

    How strong was Hurricane Frederic?

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    On Sept. 10, 1979, Hurricane Frederic strengthened to a Category 4 over the Central Gulf with maximum sustained winds near 132 miles per hour. The hurricane peaked at 135 miles per hour. On Aug. 29, 1979, Hurricane Fredric formed as a tropical depression over the far-eastern Atlantic.

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