Hurricane categories: Learn what the numbers mean ahead of Florence

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When it comes to hurricanes, one of the biggest questions is how strong it will be.

When it comes to hurricanes, one of the biggest questions is what category it will be.

MORE: Full coverage of Hurricane Florence

Hurricanes are categorized by wind speed:

Category 1- (74-95) MPH
Category 2- (96-110) MPH
Category 3- (111-129) MPH
Category 4- (130-156) MPH
Category 5- (157-Higher) MPH


Hurricane Florence, which reached Category 4 in the Atlantic Ocean, is now a Category 2 and is expected to make landfall in the next day or so. This means it will be important to avoid small buildings and low-lying roads.

To compare, Hurricane Matthew, one of the most major hurricanes in recent state history, became a Category 5 at one point and made its fourth landfall in South Carolina as Category 1. As another reference point, Hurricane Katrina was also a Category 5 at one point, and it made landfall as a Category 3.
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