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6.03.2011

Are You Prepared? Hurricane Season

30-tips-for-riding-out-a-hurricane
June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season. See how much you know about hurricanes and what you can do to prepare for them.

Hurricane Basics
What is a Hurricane?A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:

* Sustained windsA 1-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface.
** 1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour or 1.15 statute miles per hour. Abbreviated as "kt".

Tropical DepressionAn organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds* of 38 mph (33 kt**) or less
Tropical StormAn organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
HurricaneAn intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

Category 1 Hurricane - Winds 74-95 miles per hour(mph)(64-82 kt)
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage. Hurricane Dolly (2008) is an example of a hurricane that brought Category 1 winds and impacts to South Padre Island, Texas.



Category 2 Hurricane - 96-110 mph

83-95 kt
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage Hurricane Frances (2004) is an example of a hurricane that brought Category 2 winds and impacts to coastal portions of Port St. Lucie, Florida with Category 1 conditions experienced elsewhere in the city.


Category 3 Hurricane - 111-130 mph

96-113 kt

178-209 km/hr
Devastating damage will occur Hurricane Ivan (2004) is an example of a hurricane that brought Category 3 winds and impacts to coastal portions of Gulf Shores, Alabama with Category 2 conditions experienced elsewhere in this city.

Category 4 Hurricane - 131-155 mph

114-135 kt

210-249 km/hr
Catastrophic damage will occur Hurricane Charley (2004) is an example of a hurricane that brought Category 4 winds and impacts to coastal portions of Punta Gorda, Florida with Category 3 conditions experienced elsewhere in the city.


Category 5 Hurricane - 155 mph

> 135 kt
Catastrophic damage will occur Hurricane Andrew (1992) is an example of a hurricane that brought Category 5 winds and impacts to coastal portions of Cutler Ridge, Florida with Category 4 conditions experienced elsewhere in south Miami-Dade County.

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