That Tuesday afternoon 30 years ago today – August 18, 1992 – Tropical Storm Andrew was sputtering. The satellite presentation was less impressive than it was the day before as strong upper winds were affecting the circulation.
In the 5:00 PM non-public Technical Discussion issued with the advisory, the National Hurricane Center mentioned the possibility that the storm might weaken to a tropical depression sometime in the next day or so. The thunderstorms were pulsing, which is an indication of a hostile atmospheric environment.
The first Hurricane Hunter flight to get a close-up look at Andrew was scheduled for the next morning.
The Public Advisory continued to estimate the top winds at 50 mph, with gradual strengthening predicted as the storm moved quickly across the Atlantic.
The forecast showed the storm tracking toward the waters north of Puerto Rico in the next three days. Although, given the uncertainty in the forecasts of the era, a potential threat to the northeastern Caribbean islands couldn’t be ruled out.
In South Florida, we were paying only passing attention to the disorganized storm with (barely) 50 mph winds centered about 1900 miles from Miami. As it turned out, it was only 5 1/2 days from landfall near Miami as a Category 5.
Three decades ago, renowned hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross did a 23-hour marathon broadcast as Hurricane Andrew slammed into the Florida coast. His broadcast was the only one to stay on the air and many people’s only link to the outside world during the worst of the storm. He is credited with saving countless lives due to his life-saving advice. Now, 30 years later, Bryan will re-live the storm that devastated South Florida and look at the infrastructure changes that resulted. Watch The Wrath of Hurricane Andrew: Tragedy and Triumph on FOX Weather, premiering August 23rd and 24th at 10 P.M. EDT.