Ask Ellen: Why are some major hurricanes more destructive than others?

Hurricanes are classified by their wind speed, but the damage they can do depends on so much more than that.  A tropical storm or hurricane is assigned a category level based on the fastest one-minute sustained wind speed found anywhere in the storm. It doesn’t take any other factors into consideration. See how this scale is only based on wind?  In many ways, it’s like basing a ten course meal on just the entree. The fastest wind speed inside a storm is a good indicator of the storm strength, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. There are several other…