A reanalysis of Hurricane Andrew's intensity

Christopher W. Landsea, James L. Franklin, Colin J. McAdie, John L. Beven, James M. Gross, Brian R. Jarvinen, Richard J. Pasch, Edward N. Rappaport, Jason P. Dunion, Peter P. Dodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Hurricane Andrew of 1992 caused unprecedented economic devastation along its path through the Bahamas, southern Florida, and Louisiana. Damage in the United Sates was estimated to be $26 billion (in 1992 dollars), making Andrew one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history. This hurricane struck southeastern Florida with maximum 1-min surface winds estimated in a 1992 postorms analysis at 125 kt (64 m s-1). This original assessment was primarily based on an adjustment of aircraft reconnaissance flight-level winds to the surface. Based on recent advancements in the understanding of the eyewall wind structure of major hurricanes, the official intensity of Andrew was adjusted upward for five days during its track across the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico by the National Hurricane Center Best Track Change Committee. In particular, Andrew is now assessed by the National Hurricane Center to be a Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale category-5 hurricane (the highest intensity category possible) at its landfall in southeastern Florida, with maximum 1-min winds of 145 kt (75 m s -1). This makes Andrew only the third category-5 hurricane to strike the United States since at least 1900. Implications for how this change impacts society's planning for such extreme events are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1699-1712
Number of pages14
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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