HURRICANE CENTRAL, Fla. - It's been 20 years since Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida and a lot of lessons were learned. Chief Skytracker Meteorologist Jim Farrell was in Southwest Florida tracking the storm when it hit.
Hurricane Andrew was a very small but very strong Cape Verde hurricane. It started in the far Eastern Atlantic, strengthening as it moved to the west.
Andrew became a hurricane on the morning of August 22nd, then it strengthened rapidly from a category one to a category five hurricane in just 36 hours.
As a category five hurricane, it was a land-falling hurricane in South Florida and at the time, made it the 4th most intense storm with 922 millibars measurement.
As we continued to track Hurricane Andrew, we noticed that as it crossed south Dade County, it had an observed wind speed at the National Hurricane Center of 126-mph with a recorded gust of 163-mph.
Andrew also produced a significant storm surge of 17-feet. It also turned out to be the third costliest hurricane in U.S. History to date at an estimated damage of well over $25-billion.