Primer: Hurricane Winds at Landfall

by Hurricane Science: University of Rhode Island/National Science Foundation

"The forces against structures do not increase linearly, they increase exponentially (power of 3), and as wind speed increases. [emphasis added]

A 241 kph (150 mph) wind is 20 percent stronger than a 201 kph (125 mph) wind. However, the destructive power of a 241 kph (150 mph) wind compared to a 201 kph (125 mph) wind is actually 73 percent greater. For example, Hurricane Andrew’s sustained winds of 165 mph were 160 percent more powerful than Hurricane Katrina’s sustained winds of 120 mph at coastal Mississippi."