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How is the intensity of a cyclone measured?

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karaokequeen | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 20, 2008 at 10:09 AM via web

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How is the intensity of a cyclone measured?

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted November 20, 2008 at 11:16 AM (Answer #1)

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Cyclone intensity is measured by either a one- or ten-minute mean wind speed, depending on who is doing the measuring.  Most use the ten-minute mean, though our Dept. of Defense uses the one-minute mean. There are five levels of intensity.  In increasing order of intensity these are:

Tropical Disturbance

Tropical Depression

Tropical Storm

Typhoon (Hurricane)

Super Typhoon

The second link below is especially useful, if you need more information.

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weatherteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 14, 2009 at 10:39 AM (Answer #2)

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A tropical cyclone is another name for a hurricane, typhoon, and cyclone. The intensity is described on a scale known as the Saffir-Simpson scale. The scale was devised in 1969 by Herbert Saffir and Dr. Bob Simpson, former director of the National Hurricane Center. The wind speed, based on 1-minute intervals, is used rather than storm surge potential because of differences in the shape of the continental slope in an area.

The rating are a scale from 1 to 5. Category 5 hurricanes are the most intense and damaging.

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