Study: Comparing Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina; New Hurricane Scale Proposed

Study: Comparing Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Katrina; New Hurricane Scale Proposed –


Published on Oct 31, 2012 – 6:05 UT

– By TWS Senior Meteorologist

– Edited by N/A



( – Hurricane Sandy is different in many ways than Hurricane Katrina and you simply cannot compare the two in terms of storm type, but damage you can estimate. Hurricane Sandy hit a very populated area, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast United States, affecting more than 66 million people in one way or another. Katrina hit New Orleans almost head-on, but the wind direction from Katrina is what caused the town to flood as winds pushed water off from Lake Pontchartrain. 

Hurricane Katrina was a true Hurricane. It followed the steering flow and around the ridge of high pressure east of Florida. It never turned cold core and the damage was in a small around surrounding the eye.

Hurricane Sandy was a different type of storm. Sandy had over a 1000 mile wind field, which is comparable in size to Typhoon Tip, the largest Typhoon on record.

Now there are some questions that were asked. Why didn’t the National Hurricane Center at NOAA issue a Hurricane Warning? I’ve looked very carefully at the storm and in the mid-levels it had a warm-core through the coastal zones.

This warm core means it was classified as a true hurricane and not anything else. It needed a Hurricane Warning. I ask myself if people would have taken it more seriously if a warning was issued? My answer is yes.

Sandy brings issues to something I’ve been saying for many years. The Hurricane Scale needs an upgrade and here at we are working to produce the new Hurricane Scale that we will be using for our forecasts.

The hurricane scale will contribute to pressure as well as surge/wave height. This new scale will be called the Martin Hurricane Scale and will be used in 2013.

Sandy was a category one, which on the Martin Category Scale would be a Category Five by factoring in surge, pressure, and wave heights. Having my new scale will save lives in giving what danger the actual storm is.

Sandy’s damage will probably be $25 billion while katrina was $100 billion. Regardless, Sandy hitting the area is a storm one would see only once in their lifetime and you simply cannot compare both storms.

With the weather patterns changing, will it be the norm?

You decide.


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