Monday, March 1, 2010

Changes to Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale for 2010

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which has been in existence as is since 1975, will be undergoing a change for the 2010 tropical season. The new scale, renamed the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, will de-couple storm surge, central pressure, and flooding impacts from the hurricane scale. The new scale will still use the same catgories - from 1-5 - to rank hurricane intensity, however the hurricane category will be determined only by sustained wind being produced by the storm. The degree of flooding, minimum central pressure, and storm surge will be included in tropical statements, however their values will not be "canned" based on the category of the storm, but forecast independently.

Though there are "expected" values for storm surge and flooding based on the wind speed, it has been concluded that there are many other parameters that more accurately determine the expected flooding impacts and storm surge associated with a land-falling storm. For instance, storm surge values are dependent on a unique combination of a storm's size, intensity, motion, barometric pressure, depth of nearshore waters, and local topography.

For more infomation on the new scale, visit the National Hurricane Center's webpage on the scale. In addition, a summary table showing the approximate damage and impact to various structures by hurricane category can be found here.

Get the latest weather conditions and much more by checking out on Facebook and Twitter!

No comments: