Ara Pacis

2005-Sep-14, 07:39 AM

It seemed to some that Katrina was merely a Catagory 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale and many compared that to Camile that was a Cat-5 storm. However, Katrina was a very powerful Cat-5 (but Cat-4 at eye-landfall) and was very wide as well. So I ask: Should we construct a new hurricane rating scale that reveals more information?

The current Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.shtml) rates the storms 1 through 5 by wind:

Tropical Depression up to 38 mph

Tropical Storm 39-73 mph

Cat 1 = 74- 95 mph (21 mph range)

Cat 2 = 96-110 mph (14 mph range)

Cat 3 = 111-130 mph (19 mph range)

Cat 4 = 131-155 mph (24 mph range)

Cat 5 = 155+ mph (undefined range)

The NOAA site does list some other technical information related to the rating, such as the Storm Surge, yet it is not made clear if this is simply a result of the primary measurment (wind) or if it is actually included in the calculus. However, this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffir-Simpson_Hurricane_Scale) does claim that the NHC added Storm Surge effects.

It is my suggestion that perhaps we should include an extra dimension of measurement such as the size of the storm, the millibar measurment, or perhaps use a arithmetic or logarithmic metric, similar to the Richter Earthquake Scale.

I was thinking that perhaps a point metric based on the radius of either maximum sustained winds or just cat-1 sustained winds might be added. It might use a 1-5 (or 0-4, 0-9?) range that the meteorlogists could later define with 1 being a narrow storm and 5 being a wide storm. So a small weak storm might be a 1.1 while a storm that is both moderately strong and wide would be 3.3 and an extremely strong storm that is really wide would be 5.5. Katrina (2005) might be a 4.5 or a 5.5 and Charley (2004) would be a 4.1 or 4.2. Or would a Alphabetic appendage (4A for Katrina, 4E for Charley) be preferable?

The current Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.shtml) rates the storms 1 through 5 by wind:

Tropical Depression up to 38 mph

Tropical Storm 39-73 mph

Cat 1 = 74- 95 mph (21 mph range)

Cat 2 = 96-110 mph (14 mph range)

Cat 3 = 111-130 mph (19 mph range)

Cat 4 = 131-155 mph (24 mph range)

Cat 5 = 155+ mph (undefined range)

The NOAA site does list some other technical information related to the rating, such as the Storm Surge, yet it is not made clear if this is simply a result of the primary measurment (wind) or if it is actually included in the calculus. However, this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffir-Simpson_Hurricane_Scale) does claim that the NHC added Storm Surge effects.

It is my suggestion that perhaps we should include an extra dimension of measurement such as the size of the storm, the millibar measurment, or perhaps use a arithmetic or logarithmic metric, similar to the Richter Earthquake Scale.

I was thinking that perhaps a point metric based on the radius of either maximum sustained winds or just cat-1 sustained winds might be added. It might use a 1-5 (or 0-4, 0-9?) range that the meteorlogists could later define with 1 being a narrow storm and 5 being a wide storm. So a small weak storm might be a 1.1 while a storm that is both moderately strong and wide would be 3.3 and an extremely strong storm that is really wide would be 5.5. Katrina (2005) might be a 4.5 or a 5.5 and Charley (2004) would be a 4.1 or 4.2. Or would a Alphabetic appendage (4A for Katrina, 4E for Charley) be preferable?