On the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, Category 5 begins at 155 mph. Hurricane Allen in 1980 and Hurricane Camille in 1969 reached 190 mph. Why hasn't the scale been revised to add categories 6 and 7?
True, there has been some talk about creating "new", higher categories for hurricanes.
The Saffir-Simpson (S/S) scale originally was developed for engineering and structural purposes - not for meteorologically measuring a storm. But once the S/S scale became popular, it was adapted as a simple "classification" scheme for the media and for the general public. But it is a generalized scale, not a scientific measurement. And I think that more S/S categories would simply mean more confusion.
Remember, "meteorologically," we already have a scale: it's called "miles-per-hour" (or knots, or meters-per-second, etc.).
The engineering oriented S/S scale was designed to QUALITATIVELY rank the storm's structural damage potential, and five levels of damage is a nice round number for a series of "qualitative" categories. Frankly, hardly any traditional structure will survive a "Cat 5" strike, regardless of whether the winds are 156 mph, 166 mph, or 196 mph. So "Cat 5" becomes the "catastrophic damage" level - easier to remember!
What would "Cat 7" be? "Super-duper, double-dog catastrophic damage?"
Personally, I say, "Cat 6 . . . Cat 7? What's the real point? Tell me the mph!"
WAFB Storm Team