Hurricane Andrew is the worst storm to ever hit Florida — 63,500 homes destroyed

On this day in weather history, Hurricane Andrew formed.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Sunday, August 16, 1992, Hurricane Andrew formed. The hurricane lasted 13 days, bringing deadly weather to The Bahamas, Florida, Louisiana, and southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. states.

On Aug. 16, Andrew formed as a tropical depression over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. For the first week, Andrew was a weak storm. On Aug. 23, it rapidly strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane. It briefly turned into a Category 4 storm but rebounded as full-strength Category 5 as it made landfall in Florida on Elliott Key.

Andrew turned into a Category 4 near the Gulf Coast of the U.S. It continued to weaken and moved ashore near Morgan City, Louisiana, as a Category 3.

Hurricane Andrew, 1992. NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center image.

Hurricane Andrew, 1992. Courtesy of NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center image.

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The Category 3 storm quickly weakened and became extratropical on Aug. 28.

Andrew is the sixth most intense hurricane to hit the U.S. It's also the most devastating hurricane to hit Florida. Before Katrina, it was the costliest hurricane, causing $27.3 billion in damages.

Hurricane Andrew is one of four storms to make U.S. landfall as a Category 5. The hurricane caused significant damages in the Bahamas and Louisiana, but Florida received the brunt of it. While over South Florida, wind speeds reached 280 km/h.


Damage caused by Hurricane Andrew. Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives

Andrew destroyed the city of Homestead, as it stripped many homes down to their concrete foundations.

By the time the hurricane dissipated, it destroyed 63,500 homes, damaged another 124,000, and killed 65 people.

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To learn more about Hurricane Andrew, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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