Current Table

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
Category (1) Sustained wind speed (mph) Wind damage  Historical example
1 74-95 Very dangerous winds will
produce some damage
Hurricane Dolly, 2008,
South Padre Island, Texas
2 96-110 Extremely dangerous winds
will cause extensive damage
Hurricane Frances, 2004,
Port St. Lucie, Florida
3 111-129 Devastating damage will occur Hurricane Ivan, 2004,
Gulf Shores, Alabama
4 130-156 Catastrophic damage will occur Hurricane Charley, 2004,
Punta Gorda, Florida
5 157 or higher Catastrophic damage will occur Hurricane Andrew, 1992,
Cutler Ridge, Florida

(1) Category 3 or higher storms are classified as "major".

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center.

 
THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE
         Historical examples     
Category Sustained wind speed Wind damage Gulf coast Atlantic coast
1 74-95 mph Damaging winds expected Hurricane Cindy, 2005 Hurricane Gaston, 2004
2 96-110 mph Very strong winds producing
widespread damage
Hurricane Erin, 1995 Hurricane Isabel, 2003
3 111-130 mph Dangerous winds causing
extensive damage
Hurricane Rita, 2005 Hurricane Jeanne, 2004
4 131-155 mph Extremely dangerous winds
causing devastating damage
Hurricane Charley, 2004 Hurricane Hugo, 1989
5 More than 155 mph Catastrophic damage expected Hurricane Camille, 1969 Hurricane Andrew, 1992

Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center.