Q:

How did Hurricane Andrew start?

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Quick Answer

Hurricane Andrew began as a tropical wave that crossed the west coast of Africa into the tropical North Atlantic on August 14, 1992. Two days later, after it passed just south of the Cape Verde islands, the wave became a tropical depression. Tropical Storm Andrew formed August 17 and became a hurricane three days later due to vertical wind shear. The hurricane caused 23 deaths in the United States.

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Full Answer

Hurricane Andrew was slow to develop once it became a tropical storm, according to the National Weather Service. It moved west-northwest toward the Lesser Antilles at about 20 knots. Winds pushed the storm to the north of these islands, and the top winds were still not enough to make it hurricane strength. On August 21, 1992, winds causing the vertical shear suddenly moved north, and Andrew quickly grew from a tropical storm to a Category three hurricane in the span of three days.

The powerful hurricane hit Dade County, Florida on August 24 as a Category four storm. It then passed into the Gulf of Mexico and weakened to a Category three before turning north toward the central Louisiana coast on August 26. Winds were so powerful in Florida that they destroyed anemometers at weather stations. Low pressure readings of 27.23 inches made Hurricane Andrew the third most intense hurricane to hit the United States, as of July 2014.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many people were injured in Hurricane Andrew?

    A:

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 445 injuries were sustained as a result of Hurricane Andrew. This figure is obtained from the reports of coroners and emergency departments in the affected areas.

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  • Q:

    How many people died in Hurricane Andrew?

    A:

    Hurricane Andrew was directly responsible for 23 deaths in the United States and three in the Bahamas. NOAA also lists 39 indirect deaths as a result of the storm, bringing the total to 65.

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  • Q:

    What were the important events of 1992?

    A:

    In 1992, Bill Clinton became president of the United States, and Hurricane Andrew hit the coast of Florida and became one of the costliest hurricanes in history. In addition, the first black female astronaut spent a week orbiting the Earth in the space shuttle Endeavour. Also in 1992, the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico was signed.

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    What is the difference between a hurricane and a tsunami?

    A:

    According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, a hurricane is a cyclonic storm that forms over tropical or subtropical waters and has sustained wind speeds of at least 74 mph, while a tsunami is a tidal wave created by an earthquake or underwater volcano. Hurricanes and tidal waves both can be extremely dangerous to those living near the coastline.

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