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CAT-6 hurricanes may be coming soon!
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Some scientists are considering updating the Saffir-Simpson scale, which has been in use for almost 50 years. They suggest adding a category 6, as studies indicate that climate change is causing a new type of superstorm, Axios reports.

Since its creation in the 1970s, the Saffir-Simpson scale has been the standard for determining hurricane intensity.

It was developed by Herbert Saffir and Robert Simpson. The scale classifies storms into five categories according to their sustained winds. Category 5 storms are those with wind speeds in excess of 157 mph that cause severe damage. A warmer climate provides more energy for storms.

Category 5 hurricanes are therefore more intense and more frequent. As a result, experts are now considering changes to the classification.

They have found that five storms, including Hurricane Patricia and super typhoon Haiyan since 2013, could fall into this new Category 6.

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A CAT-6 translates into stronger winds, heavier rainfall and more devastating storm surges. The study shows a trend of increasing wind speeds since 1982. This suggests that global warming will continue to increase the frequency of Category 6 storms.

The intensity of extreme hurricanes is increasing, even if their number remains stable. Hurricanes such as Haiyan, Patricia and others have set the tone. Patricia reached wind speeds of 215 mph, an intensity never seen before.

Critics of this proposed update exist, however, and argue that the damage caused by a Category 5 storm is already so extensive that there’s no need for a new categorization.

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The Saffir-Simpson scale, in its current form, only measures wind speed. This is not a good indicator of a storm’s destructive potential. The classification does not take into account factors such as storm size, storm surge and the impact of flooding, even though these are often the factors that cause the worst damage.

The devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Maria highlight the limitations of current classifications for measuring the destructive power of a storm.

The experts at the National Hurricane Center are not in favor of an update, however.

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