Wilma wreaked havoc with weaker winds

Hurricane Wilma may have generally wreaked havoc across Florida last month, but meteorologists say it did it with mostly Category 1 wind speeds.

Officials say the fact that hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed and millions of people were left without electricity demonstrates a major hurricane is not needed to produce major damage.

Officially, the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center say Wilma was a Category 3 storm when it hit southwest Florida near Naples early Oct. 24 and diminished to a Category 2 when it exited the eastern part of the state. But NWS Meteorologist Robert Molleda told the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post he saw mostly evidence of Category 1 damage, with only pockets of more severe havoc, during an aerial inspection after the storm.

And a University of Florida scientist said five mobile wind gauges along Wilma's path recorded essentially Category 1 sustained winds across the state of Florida.

The weather service said no official gauge on land in Florida measured sustained Category 3 wind speeds of 125 mph, the Post reported. And only two official sites -- Lake Okeechobee's south end and Biscayne Bay -- recorded even Category 2 winds.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Citation: Wilma wreaked havoc with weaker winds (2005, November 7) retrieved 18 July 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2005-11-wilma-wreaked-havoc-weaker.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Norway's relationship with Russia: The principle of balance between deterrence and reassurance


Feedback to editors