The storm we know as Sandy has gone by several different classifications. Storm classifications are fluid, just as the storms are: what is a Category 3 hurricane in one part of the world might be nothing but a cyclone by the time it reaches another part. "You typically talk about a storm's category depending on where you are," says Blumberg. Sandy was, according to the Saffir-Simpson Category Scale (that's the scale that decides what category a hurricane is, based mostly on wind speed), a Category 2 hurricane when it made landfall in Cuba, early on the morning of October 25th. But when it made landfall near Atlantic City, on the evening of the 29th, it was a tropical cyclone, due to its reduced strength from its trip up the coast. (Well, technically, it was a "post-tropical cyclone," as it had ventured out of the tropics but retained the wind speeds of a tropical cyclone.) A hurricane is a specific type of tropical cyclone, with sustained winds of at least 74 mph. The Sandy that reached New Jersey was not moving fast enough to retain its hurricane status, so it was a mere tropical cyclone.