As of this morning, Hurricane Matthew is a Category 3 hurricane, poised to wreak havoc on the northern Caribbean, the Bahamas and possibly SE Florida. Post your notes, info, concerns and warnings here rather than in the political threads. Try not to add too much extraneous material so that important info doesn’t get buried down thread.
The Saffir Simpson scale is the standard scale for rating the severity of hurricanes as a measure of the damage they cause; it is based on observations of numerous North Atlantic Basin hurricanes. First developed in the late 1960s by Herbert Saffir to quantity potential damage from hurricane winds, the scale was expanded in the early 1970s by Robert Simpson, then the Director of the National Hurricane Center. In its present form there are two definitive scales: the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale and the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Damage Intensity Scale. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale rates hurricanes from category 1 through category 5 in order of increasing intensity. Each intensity category specifies the range of conditions of four criteria: barometric (central) pressure, wind speed, storm surge, and damage potential. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Damage Intensity Scale, in addition to the wind speed, outlines the damage potentially possible with an associated categorized hurricane.
As popularly employed, the Saffir-Simpson scale is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental shelf in the landfall region.
Category 1. Minimal, 74-95 mph (119-153 km/hr): Some damage is expected, with most of it limited to shrubbery, unanchored houses and items. Some minor flooding will cause pier damage.
Category 2. Moderate, 96-110 mph (154-177 km/hr): Considerable damage can be expected to shrubbery and some trees may be blown down; there will be damage to mobile homes, signs, roofs, windows and doors. Small craft may be torn from moorings and marinas will probably flood. Some low-lying areas and shoreline residences should be evacuated.
Category 3. Extensive, 111-130 mph (178-209 km/hr): Large trees and most signs may be blown down; there may be structural damage to small buildings; mobile homes will be destroyed. Serious flooding will occur at the coast, with severe damage to shoreline structures and flooding up to eight miles (13 km) inland at elevations of five feet (1.5 m) or less.
Category 4. Extreme, 131-155 mph (210-250 km/hr): Expect trees, signs and traffic lights to be blown down, and extensive damage done to roofs, windows and doors. Mobile homes will be completely destroyed. Beaches will be eroded and there will be flooding as far as 6 miles (9.5 km) inland for anything under 10 feet (3 m) above sea level. Anyone staying within 500 yards (457 m) of shore will be evacuated, as will all single-story residences within 2 miles (4 km) of shore.
Category 5. Catastrophic, 156+ mph (251+ km/hr): Trees, signs, traffic lights will be blown down. There will be extensive damage to buildings and major damage to lower floors of structures less than 15 feet (4.5 m) above sea level within 500 yards (457 m) of shore. Massive evacuation of residential areas 5-10 miles (8-16 km) from shore will be required.