Hurricane Wilma Chase Account - October 24th, 2005 - Miami Beach, Florida
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Hurricane Wilma - The Strongest Atlantic Hurricane in Recorded History !
Whiteout Conditions as the south-eastern eyewall brushes by Miami Beach
Ultimate Chase's Location During Hurricane Wilma: Miami Beach, Florida
Radar Image Showing Ultimate Chase's Location:
Hurricane Wilma Radar Image Courtesy NWS Miami
Infrared Satellite Image Showing Ultimate Chase's Location:
Hurricane Wilma Infrared Satellite Image Courtesy NOAA
Barometer Graph:
While in the eye in North Ft. Lauderdale I Recorded a Pressure of 959mb
Hurricane Wilma Satellite Images Below:
Hurricane Wilma Infrared Satellite Image Courtesy NOAA Hurricane Wilma Satellite Image Courtesy NOAA
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Hurricane Wilma Photos and Video Stills:
Hurricane Wilma Chase Account Below:
Chase Account: I tracked Hurricane Wilma from her very early stages of life in the Caribbean. Wilma was a historic Hurricane from the very beginning! After being named, Wilma tied the all-time record for the most storms in the Atlantic. She didn't stop there, overnight Wilma went from a Cat-1 Hurricane to a strong Cat-5 Hurricane, she broke Hurricane Gilberts' pressure of 888mb by morning. Wilma dropped down to an astonishing 882mb !! Wilma now owns the record for the fastest rate of intensification and the lowest pressure ever recorded in a Hurricane in the Atlantic Basin.
I documented Wilma's effects in the Upper Florida Keys as she passed by, then went up to Homestead. In Homestead I documented some intense winds destroy plastic signs and witnessed dozens of power flashes throughout the city. I arrived to Miami Beach an hour before the eyewall came zipping through. Wow ! The winds were shredding all the palm trees on the beach. I documented the "Turbulence" effects caused from wind blowing between high rise buildings. One blast was so strong it caused a large green dumpster with wheels to start rolling right for my vehicle. I quickly put the truck in reverse and hit the gas ! I was able to ease the impact of the dumpster, but was still clobbered by it causing damage to the front end of the vehicle. There were large rocks and gravel flying everywhere coming from the roof tops of high rise buildings. Visibility was very low from all the blowing sand and I estimate I saw wind gusts during the peak reaching 120mph. I decided to head north on A1A through the eyewall and get into the eye !
I was now in the eye of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history ! Of course she wasn't the same strength as she was just days earlier, but still a strong Cat-2 hurricane. I recorded a pressure of 959mb while in the eye. The most memorable event for me in Wilma was documenting all the vehicles that were flipped over in the Ft. Lauderdale area. I'm not sure what exactly the wind needs to reach to do this, but it has to be at least 120mph. I saw more vehicles flipped over in Wilma than any other Hurricane I have documented.
I now decided to head home to Homestead and see if my roof was still attached. I head south on US-1 and the traffic slowed way down in the Brickell area. I stopped to document some of the damage and noticed there was really thick broken glass everywhere that was blown out of all the high rise buildings. This was the first time I have documented a Hurricane strike on a major city like Miami. I proceeded to head down US-1, but was detoured because the Miami-Dade Metro Rail tracks were blown off the platform and were lying all over US-1 blocking traffic. The metro rail is a major form of transportation for residents in the South Miami area and now it was destroyed. I finally got home to find all the tree's shredded and my roof to be intact, but severely damaged. Shingles and tar paper was ripped off and power was gone. Thank God a cold front immediately followed Wilma so at least I could open the windows and cool off. My biggest memory after Andrew was sweating for weeks because of no power and the summertime temperatures and humidity was in full effect. The 2005 Hurricane Season was exhausting for me to document and ended with a Hurricane making a direct hit on my residence. I have learned many lessons from this season and realize that we as humans can't stop Hurricanes, so we need to adapt! Stay Strong South Florida !!
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