The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale classifies hurricanes into five categories. Category 5 consists of storms with sustained winds of at least 157 mph. The scale is used officially only to describe hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Other areas use different scales to label these storms.
About Saffir–Simpson scale in brief
The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale classifies hurricanes into five categories. Category 5 consists of storms with sustained winds of at least 157 mph. The scale is used officially only to describe hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. Other areas use different scales to label these storms, which are called cyclones or typhoons, depending on the area. The NHC made moves to eliminate pressure and storm surge ranges from the categories, transforming it into a pure wind scale in 2009. In 2012, the NHC expanded the windspeed range for Category 4 by 1 mph in both directions, to 130–156 mph, with corresponding changes in the other units instead of 131–155 mph. The change in definition allows storms of 115 kn to be rounded down to 135 kn, which, according to the definition used before the change, is 250 02kmh. The new scale became operational on May 15, 2010, and is used by the National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center. Since being removed from the Saffirs, storm surge predicting and modeling is now handled with the use of computer numerical models such as ADCIRC and SLOSH. There is some criticism of the SSHWS for not accounting for rain, storm Surge, and other important factors, but SSHWS defenders say that part of the goal of SSHWS is to be straightforward and simple to understand. The scale excludes flood ranges, storm surges estimations, rainfall, and location, which means a Category 2 hurricane that hits a major city will likely do far more cumulative damage than a Category 5 hurricane that Hits a rural area.
It was developed in 1971 by civil engineer Herbert Safir and meteorologist Robert Simpson, who at the time was director of the U.S. National Hurricane center. The initial scale was developed by Herbert S Safir, a structural engineer, who in 1969 went on commission for the United Nations to study low-cost housing in hurricane-prone areas. While conducting the study, Saffor realized there was no simple scale for describing the likely effects of a hurricane. He devised a 1–5 scale based on wind speed that showed expected damage to structures, and saw widespread use after Neil Frank replaced Simpson at the helm of the N HC in 1974. It is now used to label hurricanes in the Western Hemisphere and in the Pacific Ocean, but is not used in the North Pacific Ocean or the Caribbean Sea, where the Pacific typhoons and tropical storms are more common. The Saffur and Simpson scale is based on the highest wind speed averaged over a one-minute interval 10 m above the surface. It has been in use since 1973, and was introduced to the general public in 1973; it is still in use today. The current definition of Category 3 allows storms to be correctly classified as a storm, and allows the definition of Category 5 to be correct.