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20 Years Later: Hurricane Andrew's Winds Still Amaze
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20 Years Later: Hurricane Andrew's Winds Still Amaze

As the official start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season approaches, we take a look back at the first named storm of the 1992 season: Hurricane Andrew. Up to that point, 1992 was a dull hurricane season. It wasn't until August 17th that Andrew became a named storm, and on August 22nd it became a major threat, rapidly forming a compact eye and reaching hurricane status. On August 24th it made landfall nine miles north of Homestead. A post-event analysis by the National Hurricane Center and the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory estimated the maximum sustained winds to be 165 mph at landfall.

Using data from the NOAA AOML Hurricane Research Division’s surface wind analysis, the wind speeds at landfall (August 24, 1992 at 0900z) are plotted here in 10 mph increments. This analysis combines wind measurements from all available surface weather observation platforms, along with satellite and aircraft reconnaissance. The effect of land on hurricane intensity is clearly visible in this image: wind speeds markedly decline as they move on land and almost instantaneously increase as they move back over water (e.g., the Florida Bay). At 165 mph, Andrew became the third Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. It still ranks as the 5th costliest Atlantic U.S. landfalling hurricane and the 4th strongest by lowest central pressure measurement.

 
Referral:NOAA National Hurricane Center Analysis of Hurricane Andrew
Terms of Use:Please credit NOAA
Keywords:hurricane, Andrew, wind, 2012.05.24
 

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