Hurricane scale tweaked just a little

In Florida, each summer we face the prospect of the upcoming hurricane season which begins June 1.  Since 2004 when Frances and Jean came ashore, everyone has been keenly aware of this season.  When we also faced Katrina, Ivan, Rita and Wilma people began to think that hurricanes striking the coast was common, although it is not.  When measuring a hurricane's strength the most common scale is the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Hurricane Ivan

Hurricane forecasters said today they are tweaking the Saffir-Simpson Scale and will no longer tie specific storm surge and flooding impacts to categories.  The National Hurricane Center said today in a release that it changed the scale because storm surges and flooding depend on several factors, including a storm’s strength, size, movement and barometric pressure, as well as the depth of water close to shore and the lay of the land along the coast. 

“As a result, storm surge values can be significantly outside the ranges suggested in the original scale,” the center said. 

For example, the center said, Hurricane Ike in 2008 was a very large storm that made landfall on the upper Texas coast as a Category 2 with a peak storm surge of 15 to 20 feet. Hurricane Charley struck Southwest Florida in 2004 as a Category 4 , but produced a peak storm surge of just 6 to 7 feet.

Storm surge forecasts will continue to be included in hurricane advisories; they’ll be shown in terms of height above ground level.

You can learn more about the Coastal Florida Lifestyle on this blog or watch videos by visiting my You Tube channel at  My real estate website is so take a look then send along to your friends.