Saturday, 15 January 2011

Storms Are Not Always the Same.

We are in Cyclone season in Queensland and back to that age old cruiser summer hobby of weather watch.  Our first cyclone, Vania, a category one with 35 knot winds, what?  So I did some research.  The above table shows the rating systems for different tropical storms. Here is a surprise, different countries use different ratings for storms.

In Australia Cyclone ratings are as follows.
Category 1 Cyclones - 34 to 47 knts
Catergory 2 Cyclones - 48 to 63 knts
Category 3 Cyclones - 64 to 85 knts
Catergory 4 Cyclones - 86 knts to 106 knts
Category 5 Cyclones - greater than 107 knts

This contrasts with the US rating system
Category 1 Hurricanes - 56 to 72 knts
Category 2 Hurricanes - 73 to 85 knts
Category 3 Hurricanes - 86 to 99 knts
Category 4 Hurricanes - 100 to 119 knts
Category 5 Hurricanes - greater than 120 knts

So, in summary at the low end of the scale cyclone warnings may scare us prematurely however on the high end all severe storms are best to be avoided if possible.

1 comment:

  1. Uhhuh.
    That explains something.
    Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was cat4 whilst cyclone Larry(FNQ a few months later) was cat5 but essentially the same strength.
    No comparison in devestation though; poss because Neworleans has plenty of poor black folks so they didn't have the political clout to get the levees maintained, the bldg code is crap so houses get blown apart and it took ages to mobilise help. Poor bastards!