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How fast does the wind blow in a hurricane?

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Quick Answer

The minimum sustained wind speed required for a tropical storm system to be classified as a hurricane is 74 mph, but tropical cyclones have been recorded with wind speeds as high as 215 mph. However, only tropical systems occurring in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins are called hurricanes.

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Full Answer

Though very intense tropical systems have occurred in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins, the strongest cyclones on record originated in the western Pacific basin. Super Typhoon Nancy in 1961 holds the record for strongest cyclone on record with maximum sustained winds at 215 mph. The strongest cyclone ever in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific basins was Hurricane Wilma in 2005 with maximum winds of 185 mph.

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