Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Caribou, ME

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NOUS41 KCAR 190700

300 AM EDT TUE JUL 19 2016



Both hurricanes and tropical storms produce dangerous winds
that can produce life-threatening conditions to those who
are caught in them.  Hurricane-force winds can easily
destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes.
Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left
outside can become flying missiles in hurricanes. Extensive
damage caused by falling trees can lead to lengthy power and
phone outages.

Hurricane wind Speeds and Impacts:

Hurricanes are divided into 5 categories based on
the destructive power of their winds.  The scale used in
hurricane classification is called the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Below is a list of the Saffir-Simpson Scale, the typical
damage that occurs with storms of each category, and
examples of each category of storm (at landfall).

Category  Definition-Effects

   1      Winds: 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
          No real damage to well-constructed buildings.
          Damage primarily to poorly constructed buildings
          and unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees.
          Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage
          is possible.
          Examples: Irene 1999 and Allison 1995.

   2      Winds: 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
          Some damage to building roofs, doors, and windows.
          Considerable damage to vegetation, mobile homes,
          etc. Flooding damages piers and small craft in
          unprotected moorings may break their moorings.
          Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges (FL & LA) 1998 and
          Gloria 1985.

   3      Winds: 111-130 mph (96-113 kt)
          Some structural damage to small residences and
          utility buildings, with a minor amount of curtain-
          wall failures. Mobile homes are destroyed.
          Flooding near the coast destroys smaller
          structures with larger structures damaged by
          floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well
          Examples: Katrina 2005, Fran 1996, Opal 1995,
          Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965

   4      Winds: 131-155 mph (114-135 kt)
          More extensive curtain-wall failures with some
          complete roof structure failure on small
          residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Terrain
          may be flooded well inland.
          Examples: Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960

   5      Winds: 155+ mph (135+ kt)
          Complete roof failure on many residences and
          industrial buildings. Some complete building
          failures with small utility buildings blown over
          or away. Flooding causes major damage to lower
          floors of all structures near the shoreline.
          Massive evacuation of residential areas may be
          Examples: Andrew(FLORIDA) 1992, Camille 1969 and
          Labor Day-Florida Keys 1935

Tornado Threat:

Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes that add to the
storm`s destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to
occur to the right side of the hurricane track, however,
they can also form in the rain bands, well away from the
center of the hurricane.  Studies have shown that more than
half of land-falling hurricanes produce at least one
tornado.  In general though, tornadoes associated with
hurricanes are less intense than those that occur in the
Great Plains.  Nonetheless, the effects of tornadoes, added
to the larger area of hurricane-force winds, can produce
substantial damage.  Fortunately, hurricane-spawned
tornadoes are infrequent in northern New England.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: How often do we get hurricanes of each
category in Maine?

The National Hurricane Center estimates "return periods" for
the various categories of hurricanes for locations along the
East and Gulf Coasts.  In this determination, the likelihood
of the center of a hurricane passing within 75 miles of a
location is estimated.   However, because northern New
England does not have many strong hurricanes, it is
difficult to determine the frequency of the stronger

Category           Return Period Mid and Downeast Maine
   1                       30 years
   2                       100 years
   3                       200 years

FACT FOR THE DAY:  The strongest winds in a hurricane
usually occur on the right side of the track.  If a
hurricane makes landfall on the northern New England coast,
the strongest winds will be to the east of the center of the
storm.  In contrast, most of the precipitation falls on the
left side of the storm track.  Hurricane Gloria, which made
landfall over Long Island and southern Connecticut and
traveled west of Portland, produced wind gusts of 70 mph in
Portland, but produced only 0.41 inches of rainfall in the

Now is the time to prepare for Hurricanes and Tropical Storms:


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