Hurricanes are large swirling storms that produce winds of 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph) and higher. At those speeds, a hurricane is faster than a cheetah’s record sprint. Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters and sometimes move their massive winds toward land. When a hurricane reaches land, it pushes a wall of ocean water toward the shorelines. This wall of water is called a storm surge. With heavy rains and tidal surges, flooding damage can occur to buildings and the land around them.
There are five categories of hurricanes and are identified by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. These categories are based on wind speed.
Category 1: Winds 119-153 km/hr (74-95 mph) – faster than a cheetah
Category 2: Winds 154-177 km/hr (96-110 mph) – as fast or faster than a baseball pitcher’s fastball
Category 3: Winds 178-209 km/hr (111-130 mph) – similar, or close, to the serving speed of many professional tennis players
Category 4: Winds 210-249 km/hr (131-155 mph) – faster than the world’s fastest rollercoaster
Category 5: Winds more than 259 km/hr (155 mph) – similar, or close, to the speed of some high-speed trains
Hurricanes 101 | National Geographic | YouTube
LEARN MORE: HURRICANE VS. TORNADO
- What the video clip Hurricanes 101 by National Geographic. What ideal weather conditions are needed in order to create hurricanes?
- What are some of the destructive dangers hurricanes cause with its massive winds?