How fast was the wind speed of Hurricane Harvey?

Grade level:  5th – 6th grades

Skills: Measurement (Speed)

Hurricane Harvey landed in Texas on August 25, 2017. It became one of the most destructive hurricanes that made landfall in the United States. Hurricanes are categorized into one of 5 classification based on a hurricane’s wind speed.  The table below shows the 5 categories and their potential damage caused by winds.

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  1. Maximum wind speed in Harvey’s eyeball was measured 130 mph (miles per hour). Which category does Harvey belong to?
  2. How fast did winds in Harvey’s eyeball move per minute? Round the number to the nearest whole number.
  3. Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Maria made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. What kind of potential damage did Maria give to the houses and trees in Puerto Rico?

Sources: National Hurricane Center


Answer keys

  1. Category 4
  2. 130 ÷ 60 ≈ 2
  3. Potential damage to houses: Loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls                   Potential damage to most trees:  snapped or uprooted