Disaster Zone

New Hurricane Categories Announced

But wait — there is more ...

by Eric Holdeman / January 13, 2019

What happens where there are two different scales for measuring the potential impact of a hurricane? We are about to find out. From The Washington Post, as shared by Claire Rubin, senior researcher, there is this story, AccuWeather developed a hurricane category scale, and it worries some meteorologists.

A quick summary below:

"On Thursday, the private weather company AccuWeather announced it was launching its own hurricane scale this year, 1 to 5, just like the Saffir-Simpson. Joel Myers, AccuWeather’s founder and chief executive, says the RealImpact Scale for Hurricanes, or RI, takes into account wind, flooding rain, storm surge and economic damage. He said he had seen the outcry for a better categorization system and that no one else stepped up."

Personally, I'm in agreement that the current rating system is broken in that wind is no longer the major hazard — for recent storms — hurricanes Harvey and Florence being prime examples of rain events. What we are looking for is a better risk measurement system.

The only problem with AccuWeather acting unilaterally is that they will use their 1-5 rating and the National Hurricane Center will use the old 1-5 rating. I can feel the frustration from AccuWeather's founder in not wanting to wait for the federal government to get its act together. Sometimes, there are the "quick and the dead." 

There will be confusion, but better accuracy. It may motivate the feds to move faster!