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Blowin' in the Wind, Issue #022 Hurricanes Part II, Hurricane Andrew facts - August 3, 2005
August 31, 2005

Example - Hurricane Andrew facts

What hurricane do most of us remember clearly? Hurricane Emily? Hurricane Dennis? Hurricane Ivan? I will look at Hurricane Andrew facts here because of its exceptional details. It made hurricane news.

Though not the biggest storm, the damage Hurricane Andrew created made history. Around $24 billion in Florida plus another billion in Louisiana. It was strong, with a category of 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and hit populated areas.

Where did it come from?

The Hurricane Andrew path started in the west part of the Africa map, as an innocuous tropical wave in mid-August of the 1992 Florida hurricane season. The little guy traveled westward across the Atlantic Ocean and nearly died along the way. On August 17, meteorologists started paying more attention to it, as it developed and headed toward the Caribbean. It then became the first named storm that year. Compare that to Huricane Katrina (11th letter) this year at roughly the same time.

After missing the Lesser Antilles, Andrew weakened again, or so it seemed. Then it encountered the remains of another low pressure system and headed due west, which helped Andrew grow. On August 22-23, it really happened. It became very intense, eventually to category 5, with a central pressure at around 922 mb (27.23 inches, nearly the lowest ever), dropping over 70 in less than two days. He hit parts of the Bahamas as a 4 and then went northward to Florida on the 24th.

It entered the USA at Homestead AFB (Air Force Base) and brought 1-minute sustained winds at about 145 mph (measured at 33 feet above ground as usual.) Some gusts exceeded 175 mph. Maybe higher in unmonitored areas. The hurricanes storm surge reached 23 feet in some places. And several tornadoes were reported.

More Hurricane Andrew facts

Where did it go after that? The meteorologists saw the hurricane tracking westward again crossing the Florida peninsula and back over water, where it slowed down, turned north and hit a lightly populated area of Louisiana. A tornado there killed two people. Hurricane Andrew rained itself out around August 28, dropping nearly 12 inches in some areas.

26 people were dead and that climbed to over 60. These are considered relatively small numbers for a storm of this strength. Over 25,000 homes disappeared, including nearly all mobile homes in the path. Like in Hurrican Katrina, the oil industry suffered some damage. Fortunately, the storm missed most of the nearby Miami homes.

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