Hurricane category isn’t the full picture. Scientists suggest it’s time for a new scale
Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America/TNS

MIAMI — Nothing drives hurricane experts crazier than the sentiment, “Oh, it’s just a Category 1.” It’s not just an annoying attitude, it’s a deadly one. Hardly a hurricane season goes by without a fresh example of a low-category storm causing more trouble than people expected. Last year, Hurricane Ida swept from Louisiana to New York, killing 87 people. But more people died in the Northeast — where the remnants of the storm, not even a tropical depression at the time, caused catastrophic flash flooding — than in Louisiana, where Ida hit as a Category 4. Sixteen years earlier, Hurricane Katrin...