How is the intensity of a cyclone measured?

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weatherteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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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