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Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is undergoing changes this year

SACRAMENTO, CA    The long standing way to categorize hurricane strength is undergoing changes.

Scientists at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) analyzed how wind speeds were converted among the various units, such as knots to miles per hour. They realized there were some gray areas where conversions weren't as specific as they needed. This prompted them to develop a revised scale that better assess wind speeds for advisory products.

The changes will affect the Category 4 storms wind speed range, which will now be 130-156 m.p.h. Previously, the range was 131-155 m.p.h. winds. the NHC says historical records will not be altered based on this change.

Hurricanes start as tropical storms. Once wind speeds reach 74 m.p.h., the storms are classified as hurricanes. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale ranges from Category 1 with winds 74-95 m.p.h. to Category 5 with winds 157 m.p.h. or higher.

Federal agencies set aside this week for tsunami preparedness

SACRAMENTO, CA    Tsunamis are long high sea waves caused by an earthquake or other disturbance. Every coastline in the United States can be impacted by tsunamis, but some areas are at higher risk than others.

Just off the West Coast of the United States, lies the Cascadia subduction fault. This is almost identical to the fault that ruptured in Japan causing a deadly 9.0 earthquake and  tsunami. The Cascadia fault last ruptured in 1700 but is still capable of unleashing a tsunami as devastating as the one in Japan.

This week is Tsunami Preparedness Week. Federal agencies are coming together to educate the public on tsunami warnings and the threat to coastlines across the United States.

For more information go to: http://nthmp.tsunami.gov/taw/tsunami-awareness-week.html



Here are some shots of a mudslide that I shot on 3-17-2012 after what seemed like a week of rain. This was in the foothills near Newcastle, CA.

Hail storm in Shingle Springs

Hail storm in Shingle Springs

Shingle Springs, CA - We're at 1200 feet elevation here in my Shingle Springs neighborhood.  No low snow today, but several thunderstorms have passed through.  This last one happened at 4:45 p.m., and brought some hail.

Just before I left the News10 assignment desk today, I talked to a PG&E spokesperson who told me over 1000 El Dorado County residents are without power today.  Time for all of us to make sure we have our flashlights ready, because more stormy weather is on the way.