1992 Atlantic hurricane season

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1992 Atlantic hurricane season
Season summary map
Season summary map
First storm formed: Apr. 21, 1992
Last storm dissipated: Oct. 30, 1992
Strongest storm: Andrew - 922 mbar (27.22 inHg), 150 knots (175 mph)
Total storms: 7
Major storms (Cat. 3+) 1
Total damages: $26 billion
(1992 USD)
Total fatalites: 64
Atlantic hurricane seasons
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994

The 1992 Atlantic hurricane season was an ongoing event in the annual cycle of tropical cyclone development. Although the season would have begun on June 1, 1992, Subtropical Storm One formed in April, being the first recorded storm to form in this month, until Tropical Storm Ana in the 2003 season. Although the season had a rather active start, it had a slow end. The season officially ended on November 30, 1992.

This season brought us Hurricane Andrew, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history until Hurricane Katrina in the 2005 season. Andrew also became the third Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. mainland.



Subtropical Storm One

The 1992 Atlantic hurricane season also brought a subtropical storm in April, before the start of the season. The unnamed subtropical storm formed on April 21 in the far eastern Caribbean and dissipated on April 24. This was, according to the NHC, the first recorded storm to form in April, and the only one until Tropical Storm Ana in 2003.

Hurricane Andrew

Main Article: Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Andrew was by far the most intense hurricane of the year, and one of only two Category 5 hurricanes in the 1990s. Andrew was a Cape Verde-type hurricane that developed on August 16 and moved west into the North Atlantic waters that were still warming up. The storm strengthened substantially by the time it made landfall in the Bahamas on August 23, it caused $250 million in damage. The death toll of Andrew is 26. It caused a total of $26 billion in damage (1992 dollars).

In 1992, meteorologists at the NHC originally classified Andrew as a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale with 145 mph winds. But in 2002, they went back to Andrew and discovered that several places in Dade County reported sustained winds of more than 160 mph, putting it at category five on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Hurricane Bonnie

The storm that would become Bonnie formed from a cold front on September 17. The depression became Tropical Storm Bonnie in the early morning hours on the 18th, and became a hurricane on in the early evening hours on the same day. Bonnie reached its peak intensity on September 21 when it reached category two on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Strong upper-level westerly winds weakened the storm on September 23 as it drifted southwest. It weakened to tropical depression status then strengthened again on September 27, but the strengthening didn't hold as the storm dissipated on September 30.

Bonnie did affect the Azores but there was no damage reports received. However one man was killed by a rock fall on the island of St. Michaels.

Hurricane Charley

Charley formed on September 21 about 550 n mi southwest of the Azores. It strengthened and became Tropical Storm Charley on the 22nd, and became a hurricane in the early morning hours on September 23. Peak intensity reached 110 mph on September 24.

Charley was drifting southwest on the 25th and then moved northeast and accelerated. Charley weakened on September 26 as it moved into cooler waters. It weakened further on September 27 as it dissipated late in the day. There were no damage or casualties related to Charley.

Tropical Storm Danielle

The storm that would become Danielle formed on September 18 off the coast of the eastern seaboard. It became a tropical storm on the 22nd and moved parallel to the seaboard. The storm made landfall in Delmarva, Maryland and continued northwest where it dissipated.

One death was reported as a result of Danielle. A sailboat was battered and sunk by high seas off the coast of New Jersey.

Tropical Storm Earl

Earl was a Cape Verde system moving off the coast of Africa on September 18. On September 27 the system became a tropical depression 300 n mi north of Hispaniola. The storm moved northwest toward the Bahamas and became stationary where it began to strengthen. It became Tropical Storm Earl on September 29. It moved east and reached its peak intensity of 60 mph in the late evening hours of October 1.

There were no casualties or damage reported as a result of Earl.

Hurricane Frances

Frances formed south-southeast of Bermuda on October 18. Frances strengthened to Tropical storm status on October 23. It reached its peak intensity on the 24th. It barely made hurricane status with winds of 85 mph. Frances moved northeast into cooler waters and weakened substantially for the next two days. It became extratropical on October 27.

A sailor was classified as missing and one was injured on a sailboat.

1992 storm names

The following names were used for named storms that formed in the north Atlantic in 1992. The names not retired from this list were used again in the 1998 season. This is the same list used for the 1986 season. Names that were not assigned are marked in gray.

  • Andrew
  • Bonnie
  • Charley
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Frances
  • Georges (unused)
  • Hermine (unused)
  • Ivan (unused)
  • Jeanne (unused)
  • Karl (unused)
  • Lisa (unused)
  • Mitch (unused)
  • Nicole (unused)
  • Otto (unused)
  • Paula (unused)
  • Richard (unused)
  • Shary (unused)
  • Tomas (unused)
  • Virginie (unused)
  • Walter (unused)


The World Meteorological Organization retired one name in the spring of 1993: Andrew. It was replaced in the 1998 season with Alex.

See also

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