Tropical storm Barry: What category is Barry on the hurricane scale? | World | News


Hurricane Barry could be one of the first hurricanes of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2019. The storm is currently a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, forecast to pick up speed as it moves to the US mainland. Directly in its path are the states of Louisiana and Texas, which could see hurricane-force winds and heavy rain.

What category is tropical storm Barry on the hurricane scale?

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale is what authorities use to measure storms in the US.

Devised by civil engineer Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Robert Simpson in 1971, the scale divides hurricane strengths into five categories.

Category one and two hurricanes are comparatively weaker, with winds ranging from 74 to 110mph.

READ MORE: Will tropical disturbance become hurricane Barry?

The most powerful hurricanes are the ‘major’ bands, from category 3 to 5, with winds ranging from 111 to more than 157mph.

The National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) in the US is tracking the tropical disturbance as it gathers strength.

By their estimations, the storm will make an impact on land by Thursday as a tropical storm.

By the weekend, the system could bring “hurricane strength” winds.

READ MORE: Will hurricane Barry flood New Orleans?

The NOAA said if the system becomes a tropical storm, it will bring winds up to 28mph.

As it strengthens on the weekend, the organisation said the storm could pack winds up to 63 mph.

Barry could also tip out more than a foot of rain on New Orleans, which is already underwater.

According to the Saffir-Simpson scale, maximum winds for a tropical storm are 73mph, which means the system will still be a storm this weekend.

READ MORE: Where will hurricane Barry hit?

At the moment, there are no categories predicted for the system beyond a tropical storm.

To be classified as a hurricane, a storm must have sustained winds of at least 74mph.

However, storms not quite at this level can still cause hurricane-level ‘gusts’.

These gusts are irregular, but can briefly produce the force of a hurricane.

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