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What is a hurricane?
A hurricane is an intense low-pressure weather system with winds of 74 or
more miles per hour. It is a type of cyclone that generally forms in the
tropics. These storms are defined by high wind speeds, with accompanying rain,
possible storm surges, flooding and tornadoes.
Hurricanes are categorized according to wind speeds based on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. The weakest hurricanes
are Category 1, defined by wind speeds starting at 74 miles per hour and storm
surges of 4 to 6 feet. The scale ranges to a Category 5 where wind speeds are in
excess of 155 miles per hour, and storm surges can reach 18 feet or more.
All hurricanes are dangerous. Even the lowest category hurricanes can produce
flying debris, standing water hazards, and