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Improving The Saffir-Simpson Scale and Our Response to Hurricanes

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Author:  Logan Giles


Published:   22nd December 22nd, 2018



This paper analyzes why the Saffir-Simpson Scale remains outdated and dangerous, and will offer a suggestion for a new scale.  Currently, the global scale on how we measure hurricanes and tropical systems continues to be the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This scale, first created in 1971 provides a means for the public to better assess the severity of these storms. The Saffir-Simpson Scale uses one factor – wind. The higher the wind, the stronger the storm, and therefore, the higher assigned number. While wind speed certainly remains important, it should not be the only factor used to determine the severity of a storm.  Additional weather threats should factor into the analysis to better account for potential damage hurricanes and tropical storms bring. By including these additional threats, the public will be better informed to make decisions that affect their safety and that of their families.


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