When it comes to hurricanes, there are many factors related to atmospheric and oceanic conditions that indicate what to expect. Every year, weather experts in the US try to predict just how many of these storms we might see.
Although hurricanes can occur at any time of the year, they are most frequent during the hurricane season. The official Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 and refers to the time period when these storms are most likely to develop in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
The National Hurricane Center is a part of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction located at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Their job is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best forecasts and analyses of hurricanes.
They utilize the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is a 1 to 5 categorization based on a hurricane’s intensity. The scale has been an excellent tool for alerting the public about the possible impacts of various intensity hurricanes. There are 5 categories on this scale, each based on the peak wind velocity in a hurricane at any given time. The scale also provides examples of the levels of damage that might occur due to these winds.
- Category 1 – Wind speeds from 74-95 mph – These winds will cause light damage. A well-constructed frame house for example, might lose a few shingles, some tree limbs might snap, and there may well be extensive damage to power lines.
- Category 2 – Wind speeds from 96-110 mph – Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage. Homes could sustain major roof and siding damages. Many shallow rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted. Total power loss is to be expected.
- Category 3 – Wind speeds from 111-129 mph – Devastating damages will occur. Well built frame homes may incur serous damage. Decking or gables may be blown away, and electricity and water might not be available for several days or weeks.
- Category 4 – Wind speed from 130-156 mph – Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built frame homes may suffer the loss of a roof or exterior walls. Most trees in the area will be snapped or uprooted. Power and water may be unavailable for an extended period of time.
- Category 5 – Wind speeds of 157 mph or higher – Catastrophic damage is to be expected. A high percentage of frame homes will be destroyed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. The resulting utility outages could make the area uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Hurricanes are usually very large, up to 300 miles in diameter or more. Fortunately, these storms generally move slowly, and this gives us time to prepare for them. Being prepared for a hurricane can take different forms. It may mean something as simple as making sure that you have fresh batteries in your flashlights in the event of a power outage. It may also require more extensive planning, like installing storm shutters or stocking up on non-perishable food items. In extreme cases, evacuation plans should be in place to avoid the loss of life.
Understanding the threat level of the various storm categories will help you make important decisions when a storm is approaching. Storm Smart of Southeast Florida can help you prepare for whatever may come by offering a broad range of products and services. We are based in West Palm Beach and have served customers from Delray to Vero Beach since 2016. Check out our reviews!
Our full line of technologically advanced systems is backed by the care and service of highly trained technicians. Whether you are building new or just want to protect your home and family better from hurricane winds, Storm Smart of Southeast Florida has just what you need. If you would like more information about our company, contact us at 561-220-7222.