Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Portland, ME

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NOUS41 KGYX 181102

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Gray ME
0700 AM EDT Tue Jul 18 2017

The National Weather Service has declared the week of July 17th
through 21st, HURRICANE AWARENESS WEEK in New England.  This is the
second in a series of five public information statements to be
issued by the National Weather Service Office in Gray, containing
information on hurricanes and hurricane safety.


Both hurricanes and tropical storms produce dangerous winds that
can produce life-threatening conditions for anyone who is 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 during hurricanes. Extensive damage caused by falling
trees can lead to lengthy power and phone outages.

Tropical circulations are classified based on the following wind
speed criteria.

          Wind Speed             Name
       Less than 39 mph       Tropical depression
       39 to 73 mph           Tropical Storm
       74 mph or greater      Hurricane

Hurricanes are further 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


   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
            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: 111-129 mph (96-112 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 inland.
          Examples: Katrina 2005, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia
          1983 and Betsy 1965

   4      Winds: 130-156 mph (113-136 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: 157+ mph (137+ 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 required.
          Examples: Andrew(FLORIDA) 1992, Camille 1969 and
          Labor Day-Florida Keys 1935

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 and New Hampshire?

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 hurricanes.

Category       Return Period
               NH and SW ME
   1             30 years
   2            150 years
   3            400 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 city.

Here`s a list of the other topics covered in statements issued this

Monday - Tropical Cyclones, Tropical Storms, and
         Hurricanes--The Basics
Wednesday - Storm Surge and Marine Safety
Thursday - Inland Flooding

Friday - The Forecast Process--Statements, Watches, and Warnings

For additional information about hurricanes and hurricane safety,
visit the National Hurricane Center`s web site at:


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