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Fri Jun 8, 2018, 06:49 AM

Hurricanes Are Now So Violent That We Need a New Category

Hurricanes Are Now So Violent That We Need a New Category
Five categories might not be enough.
Victoria Albert
06.08.18 5:10 AM ET


When Herbert Saffir went on commission for the United Nations in 1969, tasked with studying low-cost housing in hurricane-prone regions, he realized that something was missing from our meteorological vocabulary. There was no uniform way to communicate the power and destruction of an oncoming hurricane.

Saffir decided to fix that. In tandem with Robert Simpson, then-director of the National Hurricane Center, he developed the Saffir-Simpson scale: a five-category measurement of a hurricane’s wind speeds.

But what if five categories of hurricanes aren’t enough? What if a sixth—for those with winds at almost 200 mph—is now becoming necessary?

Thanks to climate change, that might be the case
. One of the most prominent advocates for a new category is Michael Mann, who believes it is necessary because—as the title of the team’s paper in the journal RealClimate suggests—global warming might be making tropical cyclones stronger. In the paper, researchers reviewed a series of climate studies that have occurred in the past 39 years and concluded that “the strongest storms are getting stronger.”

Michael Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Penn State and one of the four authors of the study, explained it simply: “The heat from the ocean surface [provides] the energy that drives a tropical storm,” he told The Daily Beast via email. “All other things being equal, more ocean heat means more energy to strengthen these storms.”

That means that there’s been a dramatic power increase in the strongest hurricanes. According to the study, “Storms of 200 km/h [124 mph] and more have doubled in number, and those of 250 km/h [155 mph] and more have tripled.”

To support their point, the authors cited a series of recent hurricanes that broke meteorological records. Hurricane Harvey (2017) had more rainfall than any other U.S. hurricane in history. Irma (2017) maintained a wind speed of over 300km/hour for 37 hours, longer than any other storm on record. September 2017—the month that Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico—had the highest cumulative energy in the Atlantic in history.

more...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/hurricanes-are-now-so-violent-that-we-need-a-new-category?ref=home

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Reply Hurricanes Are Now So Violent That We Need a New Category (Original post)
babylonsister Jun 8 OP
NCTraveler Jun 8 #1
GetRidOfThem Jun 8 #2
genxlib Jun 8 #3
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 8 #4
MGKrebs Jun 8 #5

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 07:00 AM

1. It is well known that a Cat 5 can wipe your ass out...

Along with the rest of your community. It’s a metric used for warning. Look at the evacuations that occur for those under a Cat 5. Pretty massive evacuations. People understand that a Cat 5 is an ohh shit moment if hit.

Would adding additional categories generate a stigma that a Cat 3 isn’t as dangerous as people currently view them? Image is reality in the human mind.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 07:24 AM

2. Cat 5 means basically everything can be wiped out.

I have done hurricane disaster assessments, and the reason, I am told, that there is nothing above a Cat 5 is because Cat 5 is so devastating. Don't forget that the storms around the eye often have embedded twisters, I have seen the damage. Steel structures cannot withstand them.

I don't know if we need a Cat 6...

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Response to GetRidOfThem (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 07:43 AM

3. I was about to say this

I have worked on both ends of hurricanes - in design and disaster assessment. A Cat 5 pretty much conveys everything needed to describe catastrophic damage.

If they add such a thing, it will be for the scientists and not for the benefit of communicating to the public.

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Response to GetRidOfThem (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 07:49 AM

4. Cat 6 would have a WIDER swath of damage. So, yes, of course, Cat 6 would be useful. . . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 8, 2018, 09:20 AM

5. Well I suppose they could just expand the definition of Cat5.

Why not?

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