The intensity of a hurricane is measured by the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
This rates the storms from one to five based on sustained wind speed and the potential property damage those winds can cause.
The lowest category storm, a CAT one, is considered minor, with sustained winds of 74 to 95 miles an hour. Damage is minimal, primarily confined to tree and powerlines.
A CAT 2, with 96 to 110 mile per hour sustained winds, causes extensive damage. We see roof and siding damage to homes, many trees uprooted.
CAT 3 is considered a major hurricane, with 111 to 129 mile per hour sustained winds. This causes devastating damage including roofs blown off of homes and widespread flooding.
A CAT 4 packs 130 to 156 mile per hour sustained winds. This intensity causes catastrophic damage.
The strongest storm, a CAT 5 is even more intense catastrophic. A category 5 storm can flatten entire communities of well-constructed homes and leave the area uninhabitable for weeks or even months.
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How is the strength of a hurricane measured? 6abc Weather School explains.
6ABC WEATHER SCHOOL