Minor Adjustment Coming to Hurricane Wind Scale
MIAMI (AP) - A minor change is coming to the five-category system describing hurricane strength.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale starts at Category 1 with top sustained winds at 74 mph. Categories 3 and above are considered "major."
The National Weather Service says an adjustment was necessary to smooth converting units of wind speed measurement for public advisories.
The change broadens the Category 4 wind speed range to 130-156 mph, instead of 131-155 mph. That shifts the Category 3 range to 111-129 mph, instead of 111-130 mph.
Category 5 hurricanes will have top winds of 157 mph or higher, instead of a threshold of 156 mph.
Categories 1 and 2 remain unchanged. No historical storm records will be altered.
The change takes effect May 15.
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