[Vision2020] Dale Courtney's Research on Saffir-Simpson Scale Cat. 6 Hurricane Irma Discussion?

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Mon Oct 23 21:49:43 PDT 2017

My Vision2020 post on Hurricane Irma and related topics 9-6-17 *Hurricane
Irma Cat. 5 185 MPH & Lynas's Book "Six Degrees" Hypercanes Reference
pushed* someone's buttons.
Ted Moffett Pushing for Category 6 Hurricanes
Posted on 11 September 2017
<http://right-mind.us/ted-moffett-pushing-for-category-6-hurricanes/> by
Dale <http://right-mind.us/author/dale/>
My Vision2020 post was aimed at discussion of the intensification of
hurricanes as global warming continues.   That human induced global warming
does continue, and that warmer ocean waters as a result can fuel
intensified hurricanes, is widely accepted among the world's climate
scientists.  In fact, discussion of a possible need to add a Cat. 6 to the
Saffir-Simpson scale, or some other measurement system utilized to more
accurately reflect hurricane strength, has been a topic for years.

To know this does not require any formal institutional higher education
whatsoever!  Anyone of reasonable intelligence who can read who studies
this subject in-depth could understand this.  Thus I wonder what Mr.
Courtney's motivation is to write "Someone who only has a bachelor’s degree
in philosophy should not be pontificating on meteorology. At least not
without his waders on. "

I suppose such personalized attacks are best ignored, especially when the
writer appears uninformed of the easily discovered scientific discussions
of this issue.

However, in the interests of informing anyone (probably no one on
Vision2020) who has an interest in the issue, briefly below can be read a
few credible significant references to discussion of a theoretical Category
Six on the Saffir-Simpson scale:

<http://earth.columbia.edu/>  <http://www.columbia.edu/>
Could Climate Change Breed a Whole New Category of Hurricane?
by Sarah Fecht <http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/author/sfecht/>|September 7,
"Category 5 covers a much broader range than the others, and some hurricane
experts have pointed out that if it were broken up in the same method as
the others, then Irma would be considered a Category 6."
This source quotes Dr. Jeff Masters discussion of this issue, as quoted
below.  About Masters:  https://www.wunderground.com/about/jmasters.asp

Note reference to climate science from scientists at MIT and Princeton.
Is a Category 6 Hurricane Possible?

*Brian Donegan Published: July 28, 2016 *
*Future Category 6 Hurricanes?*

"In his blog post
Masters analyzes research that was published in Natural Climate Change
<ftp://texmex.mit.edu/ftp/ftp/pub/emanuel/PAPERS/nclimate2777.pdf> in 2015
by Kerry Emanuel of MIT and Ning Lin of Princeton University.

The scientists ran hurricane models within six different global climate
models, and the results were mind-boggling.

The results showed that three vulnerable areas of the world are at risk for
a "high-end" Category 5 tropical cyclone by the end of the 21st century due
to the Earth's changing climate: Tampa, Florida; Cairns, Australia; and the
Persian Gulf.

These potential Category 6 hurricanes may be up to 14 times more likely by
2100, according to the study.

The worst-case potential future hurricane put out by the climate models for
the Tampa Bay area is unlike anything ever seen – maximum sustained winds
of 233 mph with a minimum central pressure of 830 millibars, traveling
parallel along Florida's Gulf Coast, producing a devastating 36-foot storm

Those wind speeds are comparable to the EF5 tornado that destroyed Joplin,
Missouri, in May 2011, except the damage would be along a swath 22 miles
wide rather than only a few hundred yards."


>From *Scientific American:*


*Editor’s Note (9-5-17): As Hurricane Irma rapidly intensifies, with winds
exceeding 180 mph, *Scientific American* reviews some of the science
involved in predicting, tracking and understanding these massive storms.
This article—originally published on 08/23/2011—looks at whether we will
soon be facing Category 6 hurricanes.*

Are Category 6 Hurricanes Coming Soon?

"Atmospheric researchers tend to agree that tropical cyclones of unusual
ferocity are coming this century, but the strange fact is that there is no
consensus to date on the five-point scale used to classify the power of
these anticipated storms. In what may sound like a page from the script of
the rock-band spoof Spinal Tap with its reference to a beyond-loud electric
guitar amplifier volume 11, there is actually talk of adding a sixth level
to the current Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, on which category 5
intensity means sustained winds higher than 155 miles per hour (250
kilometers per hour) for at least one minute, with no speed cap."

Greg Laden has a PhD. from Harvard.
Should There be a Category 6 for Hurricanes?
Posted by Greg Laden <http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/author/gregladen/>
on November 10, 2013

If I read him correctly, he is not advocating adding a Category Six to the
Saffir-Simpson scale, but recognizes that some means of measuring the power
of cyclones well above the 157 mph Cat. 5 start speed is needed:

"The reason people are asking about a new category is this: We may need a
new baseline. This is true with climate change in general. If we normally
get Category 1 through 5 storms and the 5’s are rare and only barely go
over the line that defines a Category 5 storm on the Saffir Simpson scale,
then we don’t need to change. But if there is an increasing number of
storms that turn into super storms and go many tens of miles over the
Category 5 line, as Haiyan did (with wind speeds of 195 mph, enough to make
it a Category 6 or even 7, if we extended the scale) then we should
acknowledge the shifting baseline by adding a category or changing the
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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