Know your enemy: Cyclone categories explained

CATEGORY 1 tropical cyclone

Negligible house damage. Damage to some crops, trees and caravans. Craft may drag moorings.

A Category 1 cyclone's strongest winds are GALES, with typical gusts over open flat land of 90-125kmh.

These winds correspond to Beaufort 8 and 9 (gales and strong gales).

CATEGORY 2 tropical cyclone

Minor house damage. Significant damage to signs, trees and caravans. Heavy damage to some crops. Risk of power failure. Small craft may break moorings.

A Category 2 cyclone's strongest winds are DESTRUCTIVE winds, with typical gusts over open flat land of 125-164kmh. These winds correspond to Beaufort 10 and 11 (storm and violent storm).

CATEGORY 3 severe tropical cyclone

Some roof and structural damage. Some caravans destroyed. Power failures likely.

A Category 3 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds, with typical gusts over open flat land of 165-224kmh.

These winds correspond to the highest category on the Beaufort scale, Beaufort 12 (hurricane).

CATEGORY 4 severe tropical cyclone

Significant roofing loss and structural damage. Many caravans destroyed and blown away. Dangerous airborne debris. Widespread power failures.

A Category 4 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds, with typical gusts over open flat land of 225-279kmh.

These winds correspond to the highest category on the Beaufort scale, Beaufort 12 (hurricane).

CATEGORY 5 severe tropical cyclone

Extremely dangerous with widespread destruction.

A Category 5 cyclone's strongest winds are VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds, with typical gusts over open flat land of more than 280kmh.

These winds correspond to the highest category on the Beaufort scale, Beaufort 12 (hurricane).



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