Hurricane categories: Learn what the numbers mean ahead of Florence

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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