[T]he National Hurricane Center has removed all references to storm surge from the Scale. I think they should reconsider that decision. Since the public is familiar with the Saffir-Simpson Scale, NHC should leave the Scale alone, but change how it is used: rank hurricanes based on the wind speed OR storm surge, whichever is the greatest threat.It's Tim Heller's second post; I had already commented on his first post on this subject, but when he posted the above again -- clarifying that under the proposed new hurricane rating system -- Hurricane Ike would have been classified as a cat4 hurricane. I didn't fully understand that at first, so I commented on the original post again. Below is what I commented the 2nd time:
Using this method, Hurricane Ike would have been ranked a category four hurricane based on storm surge.
I commented on this post earlier, but didn't fully understand the "OR whichever's worse part", but Tim explained it again in the 2nd related post:
"change how it is used: rank hurricanes based on the wind speed OR storm surge, whichever is the greatest threat.
"Using this method, Hurricane Ike would have been ranked a category four hurricane based on storm surge."
I will explain why I think Ike as a Cat4 would have been stupid, and caused another Rita Evac mini-disaster:
I live in SE Houston, in Zone C, which is only mandatory evac for cat4+. I am well above sea level and did not get any water in my home during Ike.
But if Ike had been rated a cat4, our entire Zone C area would have been mandatory evac for no other reason than this new proposed method of EITHER/OR.
Need I remind ANYONE that more people died in Rita's evacuation than the area that Rita actually struck?
SURGE is for people close to the coast and large-connected waterways.
WIND is for people further inland.
With as much technology as the weather folks have, and most have very high degrees, I find it VERY difficult to believe that having BOTH surge and wind categories to be too difficult, especially when the occasional weird storm like Ike would cause unnecessary evacuations.
We need BOTH, not either/or.