Is a super typhoon possible in the Atlantic?

It is the strongest storm to form anywhere this year. Super Typhoon Meranti is battering China after hitting Taiwan. According to reports, maximum sustained winds were 185 mph.

If Meranti formed in the Atlantic basin, it would classified as a Category 5 hurricane; the strongest storms that exist.

A meteorologist writing for a Florida TV station notes that hurricanes are classified on a scale of 1 to 5, with Category 1 as the weakest. Of course, “weak” is relative here, as the sustained winds are at least 74 mph in a Category 1. At the other end of the scale, Category 5 sustained winds top 156 mph.

The meteorologist writes that if a Meranti-level storm were to develop here, it would be one of the strongest ever measured in the region.

Could such a storm even develop in our area? “The short answer would be yes,” he writes, though he adds that it is more likely to form in the Pacific.

Hurricane Wilma, a Category 3 storm, hit Florida back in 2005. Its maximum sustained winds were of Meranti intensity: 185 mph. That same year saw Hurricane Rita with sustained winds hitting 180 mph out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Everyone remembers the horrific damage done by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans and other areas. Its maximum sustained winds were 175 mph.

The National Hurricane Center says that Hurricane Camille’s sustained winds were near 200 mph. The 1969 Category 5 storm destroyed wind instruments, so it is impossible to know exactly how strong winds were when it hit land.

We cannot know when major storms will hit the Tampa area, but we do know that afterwards many homeowners and businesses are disappointed to learn that their claims are denied by insurers. A Tampa attorney experienced in resolving insurance claim denials can assess your situation and help you pursue the best of your options.