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What type of storm is the most dangerous?
Question Date: 1999-12-17
Answer 1:

Generally, the faster the wind, the more dangerous the storm. As wind speed increases, the wind can pick up and carry heavier and heavier objects as you know if you've ever tried to wear a hat on a windy day! Meterologists rate storms accordingly:

Tropical depressions have windspeeds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph)
Tropical storms have windspeeds between 40 & 73 mph Hurricanes are the biggest and most dangerous storms, with windspeeds greater than 74 mph. Other names for hurricanes are typhoons and tropical cyclones.

Hurricanes are separated into five categories, with Category 1 hurricanes the weakest and Category 5 hurricanes the strongest with windspeeds of 156 mph or greater!

The mainland United States has only been struck twice by Category 5 hurricanes: the Florida Key hurricane in 1935, and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992, was the third-strongest hurricane in US history.

Sometimes, however, storms that aren't blowing very fast can still cause a lot of damage if they bring a lot of rain. This was the case for Hurricane Mitch last year, which was only a tropical storm by the time it made landfall, but rained so much in Honduras and Guatemala that over 10,000 people were killed by floods and landslides.

The invention of weather satellites and sophisticated computer models now allow us track and predict the paths of major hurricanes, making it more possible to warn people in time to evacuate.

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