FLASHBACK–Yesterday, Sunday (August 14), marked the 30th anniversary of the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) first mention of the disturbance off the African coast in the far eastern tropical Atlantic.

That disturbance would become one of this country’s most devastating hurricanes–Cat 5–HURRICANE ANDREW, with 165 mph sustained winds. It was a storm which slammed into south Florida on Monday, August 24, 1992. The storm generated $29-billion damage. (A shoutout to colleague and hurricane guru Bryan Norcross for his post on his website of Sunday’s anniversary. Also noting the anniversary of NHC’s first discussion of the tropical wave which would become Hurricane Andrew is this one from NHC hurricane specialist Dr. Phillippe Papin who posts the following tweet from NHC :

“Remembering Hurricane Andrew, this day 30 years ago:
The tropical wave that would become Andrew first moves off the west coast of Africa and is noted in the 2:05 pm EDT Tropical Weather Discussion from NHC’s Tropical Satellite Analysis and Forecast (TSAF) unit”I traveled to South Florida with a WGN crew a year after Hurricane Andrew’s devastating landfall in 1992. We arrived there in 1993 to prepare a report we aired on how the region was dealing with Hurricane Andrew’s devastating aftermath a year later.

We visited the National Hurricane Center at the time and its Director Bob Sheets commented to me that had Hurricane Andrew come ashore only 20 or 30 miles farther north–in the densely populated “Gold Coast” area of south Florida–it could have been a $70-billion-dollar disaster which might well have bankrupted Florida property insurers at the time.


Of Hurricane Andrew, the National Hurricane Center (NHC), in an excellent report reposted by the NWS-Miami Forecast Office on that catastrophic storm, writes:”Hurricane Andrew was the strongest and most devastating hurricane on record to hit southern Florida. It struck South Miami-Dade County (then known as Dade County) during the pre-dawn hours on Monday, August 24th, 1992. It caused an estimated $26 billion damage in the United States making it at the time the most expensive natural disaster in United States history, not to be surpassed until Hurricane Katrina 13 years later. Almost all of the damage cost was from southern Dade County, where the number of homes destroyed was approximately 49,000, with an additional estimated 108,000 damaged. In Homestead, the hardest hit community, more than 99% (1167 of 1176) of all mobile homes were completely destroyed. 15 direct deaths and 28 indirect deaths were attributed to Andrew in mainland South Florida, all but 3 of these occurring in Dade County.

Andrew was a Category 5 at landfall, with maximum sustained winds of 165 mph and a minimum central pressure of 922 millibars. It’s one of only four hurricanes to make landfall in the United States as a Category 5 since 1900 (the others being the 1935 Florida Keys Labor Day storm, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018).”

You can read the full post on Hurricane Andrew here.