Sunday, May 21, 2006

Old News, New Season

Sombeody is trying to plan ahead. It might be a worse hurricane season than last year. That means parts of a certain disaster movie are likely to occur.
ABC News: Category 6 Hurricanes? They've Already Happened: "In fact, say scientists, there have already been hurricanes strong enough to qualify as Category 6s. They'd define those as having sustained winds over 175 or 180 mph. A couple told me they'd measured close to 200 mph on a few occasions.

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane category scale is based on wind speed: A Category 1 hurricane has sustained winds from 74 to 95 mph, Category 2 has sustained winds from 96 to 110 mph, Category 3 has sustained winds from 111 to 130 mph, Category 4 has sustained winds from 131 to 155, and a Category 5 storm has sustained winds greater than 155 mph.

The categories run in roughly 20 mph increments, so a Cat 6 would be greater than 175 or 180 mph.

'Remember, for each 10 mph increase of wind speed,' says atmosphere scientist Greg Holland, 'there's about 10 times more damage, and 20 times more financial loss.'

In other words, the increase is not 'linear' but 'exponential.'"
I wrote about adding another category to the Saffir-Simpson scale last year. Now it looks like it might be a reality to the experts. Who knew? Just another instance of locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.

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