Hurricanes growing more powerful with warmer waters; Scientists want to add a Category 6


Important Takeaways:

  • Category 6 hurricanes would describe storms with wind speeds of at least 192 mph.
  • Such a storm would be a “major disaster” if it made landfall over a populated area.
  • The researchers recommend adding a Category 6 to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which currently ranks powerful tropical storms based on wind speed starting at Category 1 (74 to 95 mph) up to Category 5 (157 mph or higher).
  • The “or higher” for Category 5 storms is where scientists take issue.
  • To remedy this, authors Michael Wehner and James Kossin, propose adding another category. Category 6 would refer to hurricanes with sustained wind speeds of at least 192 mph — about the speed that NASCAR drivers go.
  • A strong hurricane with 192 mph winds — which would qualify as a Category 6 — isn’t unheard of. In fact, since 2013, five storms have reached or surpassed that, including Hurricane Patricia, Typhoon Haiyan, and Typhoon Meranti, the researchers reported.

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