Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventive measures.

Winds Scale Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
74-95 mph
64-82 kt
119-153 km/h
Category 1: Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to the roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
96-110 mph
83-95 kt
154-177 km/h
Category 2: Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads.
111-129 mph
96-112 kt
178-208 km/h
Category 3: Devastating damage will occur: Major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
130-156 mph
113-136 kt
209-251 km/h
Category 4: Catastrophic damage will occur: Severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.
157 mph or higher
137 kt or higher
252 km/h or higher
Category 5: Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.