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Notable Cyclones Part IV: Hurricane Andrew (1992)
      #74946 - Tue May 22 2007 01:50 PM

Here is my 4th Entry:
Hurricane Andrew (1992)

Hurricane Andrew is the second most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, and the final of three Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the United States in the 20th century. Striking as the first named storm of the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season in August 1992, Andrew caused damage in the northwestern Bahamas, southern Florida south of Miami, and south-central Louisiana.

Ifure 1: The track of Hurricane Andrew

Andrew's damage cost totaled $26 billion in 1992 ($45 billion in 2005 US dollars), with most of the cost concerning damage in south Florida. The storm caused 65 deaths. With a central pressure ranking as the fourth lowest in U.S. landfall records, Andrew remained the most devastating natural disaster in U.S. history until it was surpassed by Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 season.

Andrew started modestly as a tropical wave that emerged from the west coast of Africa on August 14, and passed south of the Cape Verde islands. The wave spawned a tropical depression on August 16, which became Tropical Storm Andrew the next day.

Further development was slow, as the west-northwestward moving Andrew encountered an unfavorable upper-level trough. Indeed, the storm almost dissipated on August 20 due to vertical wind shear. By August 21, Andrew was midway between Bermuda and Puerto Rico and then began turning westward into a more favorable environment. Rapid strengthening occurred, with Andrew reaching hurricane strength (sustained winds greater than 74 mph) on the 22nd and Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale on the 23rd, peaking with 152 knots (175 mph) winds and a minimum pressure of 922 hPa.The storm was extremely small, however, with gale-force (35 mph, 55 km/h) winds extending outwards only 90 miles (150 km) from the center

Figure 2: Hurricane Andrew at peak strength (152 knots, 922 hPa)

Andrew made landfall twice while moving through the Bahamas, crossing Eleuthera with 160 mph (260 km/h) winds and passing through the Berry Islands at Great Harbour Cay with sustained winds of 130 kots (150 mph) The storm weakened after its second landfall, maintaining strong winds but with the pressure rising to 937 hPa While crossing the Gulf Stream, however, Andrew quickly regained its strength, and briefly regained Category 5 status as it made landfall over south Florida on August 24 with 140 knots (165 mph) winds and pressure of 922 hPa

Figure 3: The Eye of Hurricane Andrew at Landfall in Florida

Andrew's catastrophic damage spawned many rumors, including claims that hundreds or even thousands of migrant farm workers in south Dade County (now Miami-Dade County) were killed and their deaths were not reported in official accounts. An investigation by the Miami Herald found no basis for such rumors. These rumors were probably based on the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane, when the deaths of migrant workers initially went uncounted, and were still debated at the time of Andrew.

In Louisiana, the hurricane knocked down 80% of the trees in part of the Atchafalaya River Basin near the coast. Offshore, the storm killed 9.4 million fish, causing $7.8 million dollars (1992 USD) in lost value, and damaged large area of marshland along the Louisiana coast.

My Next entry will be about Hurricane Wilma (2005)

Dr. Joe Smith

Substitute Teacher at University of Central Florida


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Re: Notable Cyclones Part IV: Hurricane Andrew (1992) [Re: TS2]
      #74947 - Tue May 22 2007 05:29 PM

Well done. This cyclone is one of the defining events of my young life, despite it occuring when I was but a wee lad.

I must admit that I argue with my dad to this day concerning the whole death toll conspiracy. I don't see any motive whatsoever for such a conspiracy, but there is no convincing the old man.

I think the 1992' hurricane season as a whole is a testament to the fact that even in comparably lukewarm seasons, there is still potential for massive destruction.

There were only seven named storms in the 1992 Atlantic season, of which Andrew held the distinction of being the only major hurricane. Every year there is a risk, and each passing season that any major impact zone goes by unscathed, only increases the chances for next year (unless you live in Georgia, of course, because your so overdue that it isn't even funny).

PS: You can see my old street in the last image; lived off SW 187th.


Edited by Lysis (Tue May 22 2007 05:30 PM)

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Re: Notable Cyclones Part IV: Hurricane Andrew (1992) [Re: Lysis]
      #74950 - Tue May 22 2007 10:00 PM

You can kinda estimate where I lived. I was at 144th and 92nd Avenue during Andrew. Right smack dab in the northeast eyewall. I actual almost was killed as I was taken out of my room (I was only two) and literally no sooner than five minutes later, the wall and the window of my room exploded and blew in. Someone was watching over me that day.

Andrew 1992, Irene 1999, Katrina 2005, Wilma 2005

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