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Warren Browne / Discovery YMCA

Twenty-five years ago this week, Hurricane Andrew destroyed the Homestead area- including many of its daycare centers.

That’s when Sue Loyzelle stepped in.

She was the director of the local YMCA at the time. After the storm, she was tasked by the city to establish an emergency daycare center at Harris Field--right by the Air Force base in Homestead.

WLRN spoke to Loyzelle at the opening of HistoryMiami's Hurricane Andrew: 25 Years Later exhibit in our Miami Stories audio recording booth. Below is what she told us in the booth: 

Twenty-five years ago, Hurricane Andrew hurtled through South Florida. The Category 5 storm uprooted trees, washed boats ashore and destroyed thousands of homes. It caused an estimated $25 billion in damage.

But the hurricane didn't scare Kendall resident Camille Grace, a 47-year-old who worked in sales for Cayman Airways and taught night school. She put her storm shutters up and filled her two bath tubs with water in case she lost access to the precious liquid during the storm. 

Marcia Brod

Lenny and Marcia Brod clearly remember one sleepless night 25 years ago. It was the eve of Hurricane Andrew.

“We were novices,” said Marcia Brod, 67. “It was a first time any kind of hurricane was coming through that was significant.”

In 1992, they were raising their two kids in a new home located on 128th Street and Southwest 107th Avenue in Miami. They had barely planned for the Category 5 storm hurling toward South Florida. 

HistoryMiami

25 years ago when Hurricane Andrew hit Miami, Lance O’Brian and his friend decided to wait out the storm in Miami Beach. Both surfers, they hoped to catch some good waves once the storm had passed.

HistoryMiami museum folklorist Vanessa Navarro spoke with O'Brian as part of a HistoryMiami research project called “What Makes Miami Miami?” The Florida Folklife Program, a component of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources, directed the project. Below is an edited excerpt of his interview:

NOAA

If a hurricane hit today, Isaias Torres and Leah Richter Torres would be together. They're married and just had a baby girl.

But 25 years ago, they were in completely different places.

Isaias, then a 13-year-old on his way into eighth grade, lived with his mom. During the storm, his parents, who had recently divorced, came together under one roof in Hialeah.

Leah, then 17, was on her way to study environmental engineering at the University of Florida. Her mom, dad and two little sisters got into the car to drive her to Gainesville the Friday before Andrew.

Katie Lepri / WLRN

Growing up in Miami, Nanci Mitchell has been through a lot of hurricanes.

“I remember in high school, sitting on the back porch in the middle of one of the hurricanes, just screened in, and it was just neat watching the storm,” she said. “It was no big deal.”

But Hurricane Andrew was a different story.

In a conversation with her sister-in-law, who lived out of state, Mitchell, then 47, confessed that Andrew “was unlike any other.”

“There was nothing like this hurricane,” she said. 

A new tropical storm is likely to form in the western Atlantic later today, but Meteorologist Jeff Huffman is more concerned with what's behind it.

"Soon-to-be tropical Storm Harvey is forecast to become a hurricane, but track well to the south through the Caribbean. Behind it, the tropical wave referred to as Invest 92, is more likely to move in the general direction of Florida by early next week. Confidence at this time, however, is low on whether it will develop or how strong it might become", said Huffman.

The 2017 hurricane season, already forecast to churn out more storms than usual, is likely to get even busier.

On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased its forecast, just as the season peak nears, calling for 14 to 19 names storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to five major hurricanes with winds topping 111 mph. That’s slightly above the 11 to 17 named storms and two to four major hurricanes predicted at the start of the season.

Editor's note, Aug. 10: An earlier version of this story said the draft climate report had been leaked by The New York Times, which has since updated its coverage to reflect that a version of the report was made available by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January.


A draft government report on climate says the U.S. is already experiencing the consequences of global warming. The findings sharply contrast with statements by President Trump and some members of his Cabinet, who have sought to downplay the changing climate.

Courtesy of @darnelmanes

On the first day of August, traces of Tropical Storm Emily brought heavy rains to Miami-Dade County during high tide bringing extreme flooding to certain areas, most notably in Miami Beach.

The city has spent half-a-billion dollars on flood management efforts including raising streets and installing a series of pumps to battle high water. But it wasn't designed to deal with so much water at once and the city's pumps lost power during last week's heavy onslaught. How well are these anti-flooding projects equipped to safeguard from unexpected meteorological events? 

Courtesy of @robertsonadams

More than five inches of rain combined with rising tide left parts of South Florida under water this Tuesday evening, as the region dealt with the last remains of tropical depression Emily. 

Tropical Storm Don Forms; No Florida Threat

Jul 18, 2017

Tropical Storm Don formed east of the Windward Islands Monday afternoon, but it is no threat to Florida.

There's only a small window of opportunity for Don to strengthen, and that is mostly during the day Tuesday. Once the storm moves into the eastern Caribbean, strong upper-level winds and dry air are likely to cause Don to dissipate.

Some coastal areas in Texas and Louisiana are under a tropical storm warning and forecasters are warning of potential heavy flooding as Tropical Storm Cindy moved inland from the Gulf of Mexico Thursday morning.

Severe weather and flooding have already been reported over the past two days along the Gulf Coast. The storm made landfall early Thursday morning near the Texas/Louisiana border, according to the National Hurricane Center.

127 degrees in California's Death Valley. 124 degrees in Ocotillo Wells in San Diego County. 119 in Phoenix.

Parts of the Southwest and West are suffering through a heat wave, which is bringing problems beyond sweat and bad hair. Here's what's happening:

1. Airplanes can't take off

Nearly 50 flights were cancelled in Phoenix on Tuesday, as NPR's two-way blog reported. In Las Vegas, some airlines changed flights to take off in the morning when it's cooler.

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

Flooding in western Broward County forced the popular mall Sawgrass Mills to close its doors Wednesday morning until further notice. Commuters can see barricades and police officers at every entrance point, assuring the premises remain unoccupied.

Severe weather conditions in South Florida are flooding streets and parking lots, affecting commuters and local businesses -- including Sawgrass Mills, one of the most popular destinations in the state.

WLRN called the offices at Sawgrass Mills, where an automated message explained the situation.

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