(WWLP) – Irma is now a Category 5 hurricane, but what does that mean? Hurricanes are rated into categories, based on their wind speed.
This wind speed-based scale is known as the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
- Category 1 – 74-95 MPH sustained winds. Dangerous winds, but minimal damage.
- Category 2- 96-110 MPH sustained winds. Extreme winds, extensive damage.
- Category 3 – 111-129 MPH sustained winds. Now a “major” hurricane. Extreme winds and devastating damage.
- Category 4 – 130-156 MPH sustained winds. Extreme winds and catastrophic damage.
- Category 5 – 157+ MPH sustained winds. Extreme winds and catastrophic damage.
There is no such thing as a Category 6 hurricane or higher. Any storm that hits land as a Category 5, however, would cause incredible damage.