Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Six years ago since Wilma came to town

It seems like only yesterday (not really), but it was six years ago today that Hurricane Wilma made landfall in South Florida. It was one of two hurricanes to directly impact Miami that year. I remember the confusion associated with the category of the storm when it hit our area. It was a category 3 storm at landfall in southwest Florida, with 120mph sustained winds, and was a high-end two at 105 mph as it exited the east coast. According to doppler radar and damage reports, it is believed that most areas of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties experienced category 2 conditions. A few spots, including Ft. Lauderdale, the western side of Miami Beach, and in many high-rise buildings, experienced category 3 winds. Some reported wind gusts included 127 mph at Fowey Rocks near Key Biscayne, 123 mph at Cudjoe Key, 120 mph at Pompano Beach, and 111 mph at Miami. It was easily the most powerful storm so late in the season, and the second strongest storm in the Miami area on record for October. Here are a few of my pics, and a video (not sure if it will play right on the blog, though), of that unforgettable time.

The real amazing facts about this storm were records broken before it arrived here. It was the first 'W' storm ever used. Upon naming, it broke the record set in 1933 for the most storms in one season. Later, as the 13th hurricane of the 2005 season, it broke the 1969 record for the most hurricanes in a season. It intensified at an astounding rate, the fastest intensification rate of any hurricane, reaching a record low pressure (882 millibars), beating 1988's Gilbert (888 mb) as the most intense Atlantic storm of all time. It actually went from barely a hurricane to a category 5 within 24 hours! It had the smallest eye on record when it was at maximum intensity- a mere 2-3 miles in diameter. After pummeling the Yucatan, it was declared the most expensive Atlantic hurricane in history for Mexico. It caused 6 million to lose power in Florida, the largest outage in the state's history. As Rina lurks in the same general area as Wilma, one wonders about it's future. Too early to tell, but stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great pics Frank. I remember the video you shared at the camp! Great footage, incredible how time "flies".