FLASHBACK – Yesterday, Sunday August 14, marked the 30th anniversary of the first mention by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) of the disturbance off the coast of Africa in the far eastern tropical Atlantic.
This disturbance would become one of the most devastating hurricanes in this country – Cat 5 – HURRICANE ANDREW, with sustained winds of 165 mph. It was a storm that hit South Florida on Monday, August 24, 1992. The storm caused $29 billion in damage. (Many thanks to a colleague and hurricane guru Bryan Norcross for his message on his Sunday birthday website. Also noting the anniversary of the NHC’s first discussion of the tropical wave that would become Hurricane Andrew, this is from the NHC’s hurricane specialist Dr Philippe Papin who posts the following tweet from NHC:
“Remembering Hurricane Andrew on this day 30 years ago:
The tropical wave that would become Andrew moves first off the west coast of Africa and is noted in the 2:05 p.m. EDT tropical weather discussion from the Tropical Satellite Analysis and Forecasting Unit (TSAF) of the NHC “I traveled to South Florida with a WGN crew a year after the devastating impact of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. We arrived there in 1993 to prepare a story that we aired about how the region was coping with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Andrew a year later.
We visited the National Hurricane Center at the time and its director, Bob Sheets, told me that if Hurricane Andrew had landed just 20 or 30 miles further north – in the densely populated “Gold Coast” region from South Florida – it could have cost $70. -billion dollar disaster that could well have bankrupted Florida property insurers at the time.
About Hurricane Andrew, the National Hurricane Center (NHC), in an excellent report republished by the NWS-Miami Forecast Office on this catastrophic storm, writes: “Hurricane Andrew was the most powerful hurricane and the most devastating ever recorded in South Florida. It struck South Miami-Dade County (then known as Dade County) during the pre-dawn hours on Monday, August 24, 1992. It caused an estimated $26 billion in damage to the United States, making it at the time the costliest natural disaster in United States history, not to be surpassed until Hurricane Katrina 13 years later. Almost all of the damage cost came from southern Dade County, where the number of homes destroyed was about 49,000, with about 108,000 more damaged. In Homestead, the hardest hit community, more than 99% (1,167 of 1,176) of all mobile homes were completely destroyed. 15 direct deaths and 28 indirect deaths have been attributed to Andrew in southern mainland Florida, all but 3 in Dade County.
Andrew was a Category 5 on landing, with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph and a minimum central pressure of 922 millibars. It is one of only four hurricanes to make landfall in the United States as a Category 5 since 1900 (the others being the Florida Keys Labor Day Storm of 1935, Hurricane Camille of 1969, and the Hurricane Michael in 2018).
You can read the full article on Hurricane Andrew here.
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