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from The Weather Channel

What is the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale?


The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS) classifies hurricanes — Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms — into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (119 km/h). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, is reserved for storms with winds exceeding 156 mph (251 km/h).


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