Claims that Hurricane Irma is – or will be – classified as a Category 6 hurricane are spreading online.
However the claims are false, since there is no thing as a category 6 hurricane. Hurricanes are measured by the intensity of their wind speed and are currently categorised according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. This scale has 5 categories, with 5 being the worst, capable of “catastrophic” damage.
Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest and most intense hurricanes to form over the Atlantic ever recorded, and as such it has been given the classification of category 5.
It is possible that a blog post from Republican Congessional Candidate Michael Snyder – titled “Category 6? If Hurricane Irma Becomes The Strongest Hurricane In History, It Could Wipe Entire Cities Off The Map” – kick started the rumour as Snyder’s headline was copied to other aggregator websites and subsequently twisted to suggest or state that Irma was indeed a category 6 hurricane – which isn’t what Snyder said in his article.
While the addition of a sixth category to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale has been suggested and debated, there is no such addition in the imminent future, and it is more than likely that hurricane Irma will have long past before any addition may be made.