One man versus a hurricane, who wins? You'll be surprised ...
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 6:38 AM -
Ever wonder what a Category 5 storm would feel like?
The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore demonstrates the power of wind inside Virginia Tech's wind tunnel.
"I'm going to be honest with you, I was a little apprehensive at first," Cantore says. "When you start thinking about Cat 5 winds, and I started envisioning the destruction they cause, I was thinking, I must be out of my mind."
Strapped into a harness, Cantore gradually felt the wind force building.
"At 135 miles per hour (a Category 4 storm), you can't really take a breath of air because there's so much force even on your mouth. You could tell just by the way my skin was flapping," Cantore recalls. "When we got to 158.6 miles per hour, my ears had just popped, you can't hear anything, I can definitely feel my skin on my neck and my face moving and I thought, at any instant, I'm about to go airborne."
Cantore was the first to reach that wind speed in the tunnel.
"I'm actually shocked I got to 158.6, but I really wanted to go to 175, but they cut me off," he laughed.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
According to NOAA.gov, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term "super typhoon" is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.