Felix: first time two Category-5 storms hit land in same season
September 4, 2007

Hurricane Felix made landfall in Nicaragua around 7:45 a.m. Eastern Time as a Category 5 storm with top winds at 160 mph (260 km/h), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Coming just two weeks after Hurricane Dean hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Felix is the second Category 5 storm to hit Central America this year. It is the first time on record that two Category 5 storms have made landfall in a single hurricane season, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricane Dean was the third most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall.

Hurricane Felix. Image courtesy of wunderground.com
A Category 5 hurricane is the strongest and most severe class of hurricane on the scale for measuring the strength of hurricanes. The scale, known as the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, classifies hurricanes by the intensity of their sustained winds, storm surge and flooding, developed in 1969 by civil engineer Herbert Saffir and National Hurricane Center director Bob Simpson. A Category 5 hurricane will have sustained winds of greater than 156 mph (250 km/h or 136 kt) and is capable of causing complete roof failure on residences and buildings.

Three Category 5 Hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since 1900.

By 11 a.m. ET, Felix had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane. To date there are no reports of fatalities though two fishing boats are missing off the coast of Nicaragua according to CNN, though there is heavy damage in the Nicaraguan town of Puerto Cabezas.

Scientists note that Felix has made landfall at an unusually low altitude for a Category 5 hurricane.


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mongabay.com (September 04, 2007).

Felix: first time two Category-5 storms hit land in same season.