We Need a Better Way to Measure Hurricanes

The Saffir-Simpson scale relies on wind to categorize a hurricane, but it doesn't account for storm surge or flooding.
Sofie Bates, Contributor

(Inside Science) -- Meteorologists rank hurricanes from category 1 to 5 based on wind speed. It’s called the Saffir-Simpson scale. And Kyra Bryant, graduate student at Tennessee State University, says we should update it.

That scale doesn’t account for dangers like flooding or storm surge. And as ice melts and sea levels rise, we may see more storms with lower wind speed but lots of rain – the kind of storm that the Saffir-Simpson scale can’t accurately describe.