The Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, formerly the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale, classifies hurricanes – Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of tropical depressions, and tropical storms – into five categories distinguished by the intensities of their sustained winds.
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.
The Western Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of the earth that lies west of the Prime meridian and east of the antimeridian, the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.
Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale.
Understanding the Saffir-Simspon scale for hurricane wind damage by ClimateCentral
To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph.
The maximum sustained wind associated with a tropical cyclone is a common indicator of the intensity of the storm.
Hurricane Categories Explained by ConspiracyWorld
The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, is reserved for storms with winds exceeding 156 mph.
The classifications can provide some indication of the potential damage and flooding a hurricane will cause upon landfall.
Landfall is the event of a storm moving over land after being over water.
Officially, the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale is used only to describe hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line.
The International Date Line is an imaginary line of navigation on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next.
Other areas use different scales to label these storms, which are called "cyclones" or "typhoons", depending on the area.
A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the western part of the North Pacific Ocean between 180° and 100°E.
There is some criticism of the SSHS for not taking rain, storm surge, and other important factors into consideration, but SSHS defenders say that part of the goal of SSHS is to be straightforward and simple to understand.
A storm surge is a coastal flood or tsunami-like phenomenon of rising water commonly associated with low pressure weather systems, the severity of which is affected by the shallowness and orientation of the water body relative to storm path, and the timing of tides.