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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 4:25 AM EDT on May 26, 2015


... This week is National hurricane awareness week...

It is time for you to prepare for the 2015 hurricane season. The
Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1st and ends
November 30th. Being prepared can make a big difference in your
ability to Cope when a storm threatens.

Today we cover high winds and tornadoes.

The intensity of a hurricane is expressed in terms of categories
related to wind speeds and potential damage... called the
Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale... ranging from category 1 to
category 5. A category 1 storm is the weakest with maximum sustained
winds between 74 and 95 mph (64 to 82 kt). A category 2 storm will
have maximum sustained winds between 96 and 110 mph (83 to 95 kt).

A hurricane is called a major hurricane when it becomes category 3
or higher. A category 3 storm is a storm with maximum sustained
winds between 111 and 129 mph (96 to 112 kt). Category 4 storms have
maximum sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph (113 to 136 kt) and
on average can be expected to cause damage 1000 times greater than a
category 1 storm. Maximum sustained wind speeds in a category 5
storm will be greater than 157 mph (137 kt).

Tropical storm force winds are strong enough to be dangerous to
those caught in them. Every effort should be made to evacuate or
take shelter before the arrival of tropical storm force winds.

Hurricane force winds can destroy poorly constructed buildings and
Mobile homes. Debris... such as signs... roofing material...
siding... and small items left outside become flying missiles
in hurricanes.

The strongest winds usually occur on the right front side of the
eyewall... the most intense area of winds just outside the eye.
Although wind speeds typically decrease significantly within 12
hours of landfall... winds can remain above hurricane strength well
inland.

Hurricanes also produce tornadoes... which add to the hurricanes
destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right
front portion of the storm... but they can also be found embedded in
rainbands well away from the center of the storm.

Unlike tornadoes that develop in strong thunderstorms... tornadoes
associated with tropical cyclones are not usually accompanied by
hail or lightning. Tornadoes can occur for days after landfall when
the cyclone remnants persist as an identifiable low. Tropical cyclone
tornadoes can develop at any time of day or night... though by about
12 hours after landfall they tend to occur more often during the day.


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