7 min

Are We Measuring Hurricanes Wrong? QuickTake

    • News Commentary

Call anything a Category 5 storm, disaster or crisis and immediately it sounds awful. The label owes much of its weight to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is cited routinely (if rarely by its full name) this time of year during the Atlantic hurricane season. But destructive storms like Hurricane Florence underscore the inherent weaknesses in the scale, and efforts continue to try to replace it with something more useful.

Call anything a Category 5 storm, disaster or crisis and immediately it sounds awful. The label owes much of its weight to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is cited routinely (if rarely by its full name) this time of year during the Atlantic hurricane season. But destructive storms like Hurricane Florence underscore the inherent weaknesses in the scale, and efforts continue to try to replace it with something more useful.

7 min

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