What Does A Category 5 Hurricane Really Mean?

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It's time we talked about how hurricanes are classified.

Hurricanes roll up the Atlantic basin every year, but they weren't categorized until 1971. The system, called the Saffir-Simpson scale, tracks wind speed, damage caused, power and water loss expected, and habitability of affected areas.

Category 1 storms are usually the least destructive, with the scale topping out at Category 5 storms, which can cause areas to be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

There have been 35 Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes in the last century, with four occurring in 2005 alone. As global warming continues to make powerful hurricanes more likely, it's likely we'll see more intense hurricanes in the coming years.

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hurricane, how hurricanes happen

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