St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message


How hurricanes are classified

By Times Staff Writer
Published April 15, 2007


Hurricanes are classified according to wind speed and flooding. The Saffir-Simpson Scale has been used by meteorologists since 1969 as a way to compare damage inflicted by tropical storms.

Source: National Hurricane Center

Category 1

Winds: 74 to 95 mph

Storm surge: 4 to 5 feet above normal

Damage primarily to trees and unanchored mobile homes. Some coastal flooding.

Category 2

Winds: 96 to 110 mph

Storm surge: 6 to 8 feet

Some damage to roofs, doors, windows, trees and shrubbery; flooding damage to piers.

Category 3

Winds: 111 to 130 mph

Storm surge: 9 to 12 feet

Some structural damage; large trees blown down; flooding near shoreline and possibly inland; mobile homes destroyed.

Category 4

Winds: 131 to 155 mph

Storm surge: 13 to 18 feet

Extensive damage to doors and windows; major damage to lower floors near shore; terrain may be flooded well inland.

Category 5

Winds: in excess of 155 mph

Storm surge: more than 18 feet

Complete roof failure and some building failures; massive evacuation. Flooding causes major damage to lower floors of all shoreline buildings.

[Last modified April 11, 2007, 11:00:52]

Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters