ORLANDO, Fla. – From when a tropical disturbance becomes a tropical storm to a hurricane, there are different criteria forecasters use to determine a storm’s designation.
Any storm system in the tropics is called a tropical cyclone, but there are different categorizations of tropical cyclones based on wind speeds.
A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm and receives a name when it reaches wind speeds at least 39 mph.
From there, if it gains strength and increases in wind speed, it becomes a hurricane.
Here is what determines each category for a hurricane:
- Category 1 - 74 to 95 mph sustained winds
- Category 2 - 96 to 110 mph sustained winds
- Category 3 - 111 to 129 mph sustained winds
- Category 4 - 130 to 156 mph sustained winds
- Category 5 - 157 mph or higher sustained winds
A hurricane is considered a major hurricane at Category 3 and higher.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
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