Nearing the end of August is historically a point in hurricane season that the tropics heat up and birth some monster storms.
In fact, Aug. 19, 1559 the first hurricane ever in U.S. history was recorded. Pensacola was struck leaving five Spanish ships onshore in the harbor.
August 19th through the 26th historically has produced monster hurricanes many will never forget. Two names come to mind: Andrew and Katrina. Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead Florida on Aug. 24, 1992 as a monster Category 5 storm.
Years later in 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the 24th of August as a Category 1 storm in South Florida. It then moved into the Gulf and strengthened to a monster Category 5 storm. Although Katrina reached Category 5 intensity, it made landfall a second time along the Louisiana-Mississippi border as a Category 3 on Aug. 29.
These historical hurricanes have a combined destruction total of just over $150 billion in damages. There was devastating flooding in both storms as well as tornadoes. Hurricane Andrew had 28 tornadoes in its outer-bands while Katrina had a whopping 57 tornadoes that impacted eight different states.
Hurricane-spawned tornadoes often happen in the outer bands of the storm anywhere between 50-200 miles from the eye. It’s a prime location for vertical wind shear and strong instability. These are two things that tornadoes need to thrive.
Those that come from tropical cyclones are more like small bursts of rotation out of the super-cell storms that move onshore fueled by the hurricane. They are usually short-lived and small and pop up without much warning. This is why there is usually a tornado watch in place as a tropical system gets closer to making landfall.
Twisters like this are often spawned in the right front quadrant of the tropical system, also referred to as the dirty side of the storm.
To read more about the different quadrants, click here.