With the anticipated arrival of Hurricane Idalia just around the corner, we’re taking a look some hurricane lingo — particularly, what a spaghetti model is and what the categories really mean.
According to the National Weather Service, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is what’s used to measure how intense a hurricane may be. The scale bases everything on a scale of 1-5 and estimates the catastrophe potential.
- Category 1
Expect wind speeds of 74-95 mph, minor damage like removal of roof decking or snapped trees, and possible loss of electricity.
Example: Hurricane Sandy
- Category 2
Expect wind speeds of 96-110 mph, extensive damage like uprooted trees, broken windows, and loss of power for days or weeks.
Example: Hurricane Frances
- Category 3
Expect wind speeds of 111-129 mph, devastating damage like broken doors and windows, and week or month-long power outages.
Example: Hurricane Wilma
- Category 4
Expect wind speeds of 130-156 mph and catastrophic damage like uprooted trees, week or month-long power outages, and damage to even well-built homes.
Example: Hurricane Ian
- Category 5
Expect wind speeds of over 157 mph and unimaginable damage like destroyed homes, fallen trees, and week or month-long power outages.
Example: Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Spaghetti Models show where tropical systems may go, but do not show where the impacts will occur. When they’re clustered together, forecasters have high confidence they’ll follow a specific “plot-line.”
Hurricane Idalia is expected to hit the west coast of Florida as a Category 3 on Wednesday, Aug. 30, although its path and intensity can shift.
Wondering how you can prepare?