AccuWeather says it has created its own hurricane scale, but why?

Barry Lee Myers (R) sits with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) (L), during his Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing to lead NOAA in 2017.

Enlarge / Barry Lee Myers
(R) sits with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) (L), during his Senate
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing
to lead NOAA in 2017. (credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

For the last decade, since Hurricane Ike delivered a devastating
storm surge into the greater Houston region, hurricane forecasters
have wrung their hands about the efficacy of the Saffir-Simpson
Hurricane Scale. Ike was designated a “Category 2” storm on the
scale, which rates storms from 1 to 5. Categories 3, 4, and 5 are
designated “major” hurricanes.

Because Ike was not a “major” hurricane, not everyone took the
storm seriously. Eventually, after much debate, hurricane
scientists decided that the Saffir-Simpson scale should only
reference wind speed (and no longer storm surge), and that in its
forecast products the National Hurricane Center would de-emphasize
its use, and instead focus on the threats posed by any given
storm—be it damaging winds, storm surge, or inland flooding from
heavy rainfall.

The Saffir-Simpson scale was retained, however, because most
Americans were familiar with it, and it remained a useful tool to
very generally identify the threat level of any given storm. This
was a compromise. Issuing warnings for hurricanes is a messy
business, not least because the forecasts can and often do change,
and because emergency managers desire a simple and clear message
they can deliver to residents and business owners.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
AccuWeather says it has created its own hurricane scale, but why?