ORLANDO, Fla. — Officials with the National Hurricane Center have a message for residents living in hurricane-prone areas: Don't tape your windows.
Hurricane center officials joined with a consumer advocate group Tuesday at the National Hurricane Conference in Orland to encourage residents to skip taping their windows when a hurricane is heading their way. They believe it leads to a false sense of security.
They say residents in hurricane zones instead should use hurricane shutters and impact-resistant windows.
Also today at the weeklong hurricane conference, which has drawn hundreds of meteorologists and emergency management officials, government forecasters noted that they are making minor changes to several of the categories in the system for describing hurricane strength.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale ranks hurricanes in five categories based on their wind speed.
The adjustment was needed to ensure the smooth conversion of units of wind speed measurement for public advisories, National Weather Service officials said.
The change broadens the Category 4 wind speed range to 130-156 mph, instead of 131-155 mph. That shifts the Category 3 range to 111-129 mph, instead of 111-130 mph.
Category 5 hurricanes will have top winds of 157 mph or higher, instead of a threshold of 156 mph.
Categories 1 and 2 remain unchanged. No historical storm records will be altered.
The change takes effect May 15.
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