...National hurricane preparedness week is from may 24 to may 30...
Please join the National Weather Service forecast office in Upton New York in observing National hurricane preparedness week.
Todays topic is winds.
The intensity of a land falling hurricane is expressed in terms of categories that relate wind speeds and potential damage. Hurricanes are defined by the Saffir-Simpson scale. Federal...state and local emergency managers plan on having their evacuations...if needed... completed and their personnel sheltered before the onset of tropical storm force winds...34 knots or 39 mph...not hurricane force winds.
The Saffir-Simpson scale is as follows...
Category 1...64 to 82 knots or 74 to 95 mph. Category 2...83 to 95 knots or 96 to 110 mph. Category 3...96 to 112 knots or 111 to 129 mph. Category 4...113 to 136 knots or 130 to 156 mph. Category 5...137 knots or 157 mph or greater.
Wind speeds within a hurricane tend to increase with height. This leads to additional problems with bridges and high-rise buildings... which feel the effects of tropical storm force and hurricane force winds earlier than at the surface. It is not uncommon for high-rise buildings to suffer a great deal of damage due to windows being blown out. Consequently...the areas around the buildings can be very dangerous. Recent research suggests you should stay below the tenth floor...but still above any floors at risk to flooding.
It is also important to remember that tropical storm force winds can produce significant damage. Irene in 2012 produced tropical storm force wind gusts...while Hurricane Sandy in 2013 produced sustained tropical storm force winds and hurricane force gusts. So while the area did not experience sustained hurricane force winds...both of there storms produced widespread power outages and numerous downed trees. Power outages from Sandy exceeded 2 million across the tri-state area and lasted up to a couple of weeks.
Be prepared this hurricane season...and visit hurricanes.Gov and ready.Gov/hurricanes.