Loc: East Central Florida
10 Years Ago... Andrew
Fri Aug 23 2002 09:43 AM
Today, ten years ago, hurricane Andrew made landfall. The system that forever changed the way hurricanes were treated in Florida. One of the most costly natural disasters in United States history. Thankfully, relatively low in cost of life.
It forever changed the building codes in Florida, and shook up insurance, and changed the landscape of Florida City and Homestead forever. This was the storm that awoken many of us to the real power of these systems.
Since that time Florida has had very few storms, Opal being the only one to even approach it. Other minor systems toyed with us, but nothing on the level of Andrew in the United States.
Andrew levelled homestead, including the Air Force Base. (Much like a system in 1945 that passed directly over Homestead on September 15 with a minimum pressure of 951 mb. One of the lighthouses offshore measured
sustained winds of 138 mph. Making it a strong category 3 (almost a 4) on the Saffir-Simpson scale compared to Andrew's strong category 4.
For hard facts, you can't beat the National Hurricane Center's own report on andrew, including some photos, satellite imagery, and radar from up here in Melbourne.
Andew actually hit overnight on the 24th.
Are we once again complacent? I'm sure many in Homestead aren't, but the rest of the state... Are we ready for an event like that again? Have we slipped back into taking the lack of storms for granted? In many ways I think we have. Florida's population along the coast hasn't gone down any over the last ten years. Take a flight down the coast, if you don't believe it. There is almost no locations where development is not around. (Exculding the Canaveral National Seashore area) And south florida is jam packed from Miami North. Evacuation routes are planned, emergency management in most cases has done their homework. But the threat remains.
I think Florida as a whole is ready for another storm like that, however many of the people individually are not. Many buildings are not either. Emergency management definitely would be stressed, but i don't think broken if another like that came our way.
Currently, the tropics are quiet in general. A few waves coming off Africa, and a really disorganized system near the eastern Caribbean are the only things out there. Nothing now, nothing in the past week. However this time of year things can change, and change quickly. So we are still watching.
NRL Monterey Marine Meteorology Division Forecast Track of Active Systems (Good Forecast Track Graphic and Satellite Photos)
NASA GHCC Interactive Satellite images at:
North Atlantic Visible (Daytime Only), Infrared, Water Vapor
Some forecast models:
NGM, AVN, MRF, ETA ECMWF
DoD Weather Models (NOGAPS, AVN, MRF)
AVN, ECMWF, GFDL, MM5, NOGAPS, UKMET
Other commentary at Mike Anderson's East Coast Triopical Weather Center, Accuweather's Joe Bastardi, Hurricane City, Gary Gray's Millennium Weather, Barometer Bob's Hurricane Hollow, Snonut, Ed Dunham and Jason M in our Storm Forum Even more on the links page.