Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX Storm Team Hurricane Resources

Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Scale

SAFFIR/SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE
courtesy of National Hurricane Center

This can be used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast with a hurricane.

Category 
Definition
Effects
One Winds 74-95 mph No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage
Two Winds 96-110 mph Some roofing material, door, and window damage to buildings. Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.
Three Winds 111-130 mph Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 feet ASL may be flooded inland 8 miles or more.
Four Winds 131-155 mph More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain continuously lower than 10 feet ASL may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas inland as far as 6 miles.
Five Winds greater than 155 mph Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 feet ASL and within 500 yards of the shoreline.Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5 to 10 miles of the shoreline may be required.

Hurricane Watches and Warnings

A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.

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