Over at Wikipedia, the storm that caused the damage pictured at left is currently classified as a Category 3 hurricane (albeit one with a very low minimum sea level pressure of 910 millibars). The maximum intensity estimate from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center also corresponds to Category 3. But our very valuable (if fairly technical) dialogue in the comments section on a previous post distinctly suggests that George may have been a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale–and, if so, the year’s third such storm.
We don’t really know, of course, and quite possibly we never will. At the end of the year, when people tally up how many Category 4 and 5 storms there have been and feed that conclusion into the ongoing hurricane-global warming debate, George will, accordingly, pose yet another data problem of the sort that has continually stymied resolution of this issue.
Meanwhile, pressure is falling in another storm system in the South Indian: