Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today in Severe Weather History for August 24

On this date in 1992, Hurricane Andrew slammed into the south Florida coast.  A category 5 hurricane producing 175 mph winds, the powerhouse storm caused over $30 billion in damage.

Tragically, 60 people lost their lives and over 2 million were evacuated from their homes.  Damage was widespread and often described as "catastrophic"

The National Hurricane Center, at the time located in Coral Gables, recorded a peak wind gust of 164 mph on its roof shortly before the WSR-57 radar tower was blown away.  The image below is the last one taken by the radar before it took flight over Miami:
The damage caused to the facility was a major factor in the decision to move the center into a brand new bunker-like structure on the campus of the Florida International University in 1995.

Slowly weakened by its trek across Florida, Andrew emerged back out into the Gulf of Mexico where it would restrengthen and strike the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts on August 26th.

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