Do We Need A New Cat­e­gory for Su­per­storms?

Science Illustrated - - ASK US -

The Amer­i­can cat­e­gories of trop­i­cal hur­ri­canes/ty­phoons in the At­lantic and the Eastern Pa­cific in­di­cate the level of de­struc­tion ex­pected by the au­thor­i­ties. As the high­est, cat­e­gory 5, is “dev­as­tat­ing”, there is no im­me­di­ate need for a cat­e­gory 6, although sci­en­tists ex­pect that fu­ture storms could be about 5 % more pow­er­ful. To­day, the hur­ri­cane/ty­phoon scale in­cludes winds of up to 288 km/h. If a cat­e­gory 6 were to be in­tro­duced, it need winds of even higher speeds, and if so, the first four cat­e­gory 6 storms have al­ready been recorded in the At­lantic. Wilma from 2005 as the most re­cent with wind speeds of 295 km/h. Another cat­e­gory 6 storm was the su­per ty­phoon of Haiyan, which struck the Philip­pines in 2013 with wind speeds of 315 km/h.

The warmer ocean tem­per­a­tures of the fu­ture will cause more pow­er­ful hur­ri­canes and more su­per ty­phoons.

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