Herbert Saffir

Died: Nov. 21, 2007 (Miami, Florida)
Best Known as: creator of five category hurricane scale

An engineer who created the five category hurricane scale, which describes hurricane strength and warns millions of people about a storm’s potential danger. Before Saffir’s scale hurricanes were only described as major or minor. He created the scale in 1969 giving a description of destruction for each of the five categories. Those descriptions would then be matched against wind speeds to project possible damage. Saffir’s scale was expanded in the 1970s by Robert Simpson, and has since been known as the Saffir-Simpson scale.