MIAMI – The destructive Mayan god Hurakan was the inspiration for the name of the destructive tropical storm system with high-powered circular winds.
Hurricanes help move heat around the planet. They form after the oceans get warm during the summer. The moisture and warm air rises, and the earth's rotation and wind deflection get the storm spinning.
When the winds are up to about 38 miles per hour, meteorologists determine it is a tropical depression. The next phase is a tropical storm. The warm ocean feeds the monstrous spiral until it forms an empty center known as the eye of the storm.
Andrew began as a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa Aug. 14, 1992. It grew into a tropical depression about two days later east-southeast of Barbados. The evaporation and condensation cycle turned it into a tropical storm Aug. 17, 1992.
The storm moved over the warm tropical ocean, an eye formed and the storm received a hurricane status Aug. 22, 1992 east-southeast of the Bahamas. The storm's highest winds were at 165 miles-per-hour. It made landfall Aug. 24, 1992 along the city of Homestead.