What Are the Different Types of Hurricanes?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 25, 2020 10:32:50 AM ET

There are five types or categories of hurricanes, which are classified on a 1-5 rating based on wind speed. Storms are rated on their strength based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Small storms are classified as category 1 or 2 storms, while those identified as 3-5 on the scale are considered major storms.


Category 1 storms are the smallest organized hurricanes, with sustained wind speeds of 74-95 mph. These storms may bring heavy rains and strong gusty winds. Category 2 storms have winds of 96-110 mph, while Category 3 storms have clocked wind speeds of 111-129 mph. Category 4 hurricanes have wind speeds of 130-156 mph, while the strongest storms, ranked as Category 5, have sustained winds exceeding 157 mph.