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Hurricane Intensity Scale

Saffir-Simpson damage potential scale for hurricanes

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The Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale is often used to describe the damage potential for hurricanes.

Hurricane CategoryCentral Pressure
(inches Hg)
(Pa)
Wind Speed
(mph)
(km/h)
Storm Surge
(feet)
(m)
Damage
1 > 28.94
> 7200
74-95
119-153
4-5
1.2-1.5
minimal usually cause no significant structural damage to building structures
unanchored mobile homes can be toppled
trees can be uprooted or snapped
poorly attached roof shingles or tiles can blow off
2 28.91-28.50
7200-7090
96-110
154-177
6-8
1.8-2.4
moderate greatly strong
can lift a house
can inflict damage upon poorly constructed doors and windows
vegetation receives considerable damage
mobile homes damaged
manufactured homes suffers structural damage
3 28.47 - 27.91
7090-6945
111-130
170-209
9-12
2.7-3.7
extensive can cause structural damage to small residences and utility buildings
buildings without solid foundation usually destroyed
manufactured homes sustain severe damage
flooding terrain near coast destroying structures
4 27.88-27.17
7090-6760
131-155
210-249
13-18
4-5.5
extreme extensive damage on roofing materials and non-loading walls
complete structural failure of roofs on small homes
major damage to lower floors structures near the coast
major erosion of beaches
evacuation of low ground up to 6 miles (10 km) from the coast
5 < 27.15
< 6760
> 156
> 250
> 18
> 5.5
catastrophic complete roof structure damage on many buildings
some complete buildings failures
small utility buildings blown over
major damage to lower floors near the coast
evacuation of low ground up to 10 miles (16 km) from the coast
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