they'd mentioned cutting a category off a while back, so not unexpected. still bizarre to have a hurricane landfalling around 920mb rated cat 3. but that's the saffir-simpson scale for ya--wind is what the scale is set by. that 80 billion damage figure isn't very inclusive. if you tossed in the aid and cleanup costs, and factored in economic losses.... the hurricane's impact was surely significantly higher. i'm a little sketchy on the direct/indirect fatalities thing. i'm sure that quite a good bit of the deaths in pre-WW2 era hurricanes include numerous cases of what the nhc guys would tag as indirect. the conventions in post-analysis are easy to critique, but they're a-ok as long as things are consistent through time. HF 1556z22december
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