A NEW category for classing storms could be introduced as hurricanes grow even more deadly.
Currently the classification system for how powerful a storm is ranges from one to five, with the biggest hurricanes given Category 5 status.
But a new class could soon be introduced as the ferocity of storms grow, with sustained wind speeds increasing to over 200mph.
A category 6 storm would reportedly make the devastation caused by Hurricane Florence in the east coast of the US look minor in comparison.
Jeff Masters, a US meteorologist, said there is potential for the new category to be introduced.
Speaking in 2016, he said: “A ‘black swan’ hurricane – a storm so extreme and wholly unprecedented that no one could have expected it – hit the Lesser Antilles Islands in October 1780.
“Deservedly called The Great Hurricane of 1780, no Atlantic hurricane in history has matched its death toll of 22,000. So intense were the winds of the Great Hurricane that it peeled the bark off of trees – something only EF5 tornadoes with winds in excess of 200mph have been known to do.”
And Mr Masters said these types of storms are now almost virtually certain to occur again.
He explained: “Hurricanes even more extreme than the Great Hurricane of 1780 can occur in a warming climate, and can be anticipated by combining physical knowledge with historical data.
“Such storms, which have never occurred in the historical record, can be referred to as ‘grey swan’ hurricanes.”
The potential for even deadlier storms will strike fear into the hearts of many who have seen their homes destroyed by storms in recent years.
Last year was absolutely catastrophic when hurricanes swept through the Caribbean, causing billions of dollars worth of damage.
However, the maximum wind speeds seen were 175mph, which would pale in comparison to a category 6 storm.