Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Hurricane Andrew: 20 years later

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on August 24, 2012

Hurricane Andrew: 20 years later“It only takes one,” may sound cliche, but more often than not, it holds true when the impact of an Atlantic hurricane season.

Perhaps the single best example illustrating this concept was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, an otherwise quiet season.

Pre-Andrew: An “Oh-Fer”
While a late April subtropical storm was later added to the database, the 1992 Atlantic hurricane season, was, at the time, off to a slow start.

“On August 16th (1992), we discussed with the media the ‘lack of a hurricane season’,” said former National Hurricane Center Director, Max Mayfield at the 2012 National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Fla. Mayfield is now the Hurricane Specialist at WPLG-TV in Miami.

Using seasonal averages from 1966-2009, three named storms and at least one hurricane would’ve formed by mid-August in an “average” Atlantic hurricane season. When examining all named storms, however, only about one-quarter of the Atlantic hurricane season typically takes place through mid-August.

Hurricane Andrew ended up being one of only three Category 5 hurricanes at U.S. landfall, on record, responsible for a total U.S. damage toll of $26.5 billion, third costliest on record behind only Hurricanes Katrina and Ike.

The rest of the 1992 season was, thankfully, much less dangerous. Only five more named storms would form. Three of those storms did strengthen to hurricane status, but well out in the central Atlantic Ocean. In recent years, we’d consider a season with 7 storms to be “less active than average”, except in 1992, it “only took one.”

An Even Quieter Year: 1983
Another stark example of an impactful hurricane in a quiet season was in 1983.

Upper-level wind shear, contributed to by a strong El Nino, took its toll on tropical cyclone formation, as only 4 named storms formed that entire season. Some recent seasons (2004, 2005) have had that number of named storms, or more, form within a month’s time.

However, one of those four storms was Hurricane Alicia, a category 3 hurricane which hammered Houston and Galveston, Texas in mid-August, 1983.

Unlike more recent hurricanes, Alicia’s main impact was destructive winds. Hurricane-force gusts smashed windows in downtown Houston high-rise buildings. Gusts to 125 mph were measured in Galveston aboard a Coast Guard cutter. Total damage from Alicia in the U.S. was $2 billion.
In short, one of Andrew’s many teaching moments was the need to prepare every hurricane season, regardless of seasonal outlooks and how active the season starts out.

Distributed by Viestly


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