Hurricane categories: Learn what the numbers mean ahead of Florence

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When it comes to hurricanes, one of the biggest questions is what category it will be. Hurricanes are categorized using the Saffir-Simpson scale, which is based on sustained wind speed. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

When it comes to hurricanes, one of the biggest questions is what category it will be. Hurricanes are categorized using the Saffir-Simpson scale, which is based on sustained wind speed:

Category 1- (74-95) MPH
Category 2- (96-110) MPH
Category 3- (111-129) MPH
Category 4- (130-156) MPH
Category 5- (157-Higher) MPH


Hurricane Florence, which reached Category 4 in the Atlantic Ocean, is now a Category 2 and is expected to make landfall in the next day or so. This means it will be important to avoid small buildings and low-lying roads.

To compare, Hurricane Matthew, one of the most major hurricanes in recent state history, became a Category 5 at one point and made its fourth landfall in South Carolina as Category 1. As another reference point, Hurricane Katrina was also a Category 5 at one point, and it made landfall as a Category 3.

SEE ALSO: Hurricane Florence 'chilling' from space
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Alexander Gerst, an astronaut with the European Space Agency, shared photos of Hurricane Florence from space, writing, ''Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you.''

Related Topics:
weatherhurricanehurricane florenceweatheru.s. & worldsevere weatherstorm damagewindwind damage



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