2012 Atlantic hurricane season above-normal

GOES-13 satellite imagery of Hurricane Sandy on 10-29-12.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end.

There were nineteen named storms in the Atlantic basin beginning with Tropical Storm Alberto that formed off the coast of South Carolina in May.

That includes nine tropical storms, ten of which became hurricanes and one major hurricane.

This season is being classified "above-normal" as the average number of named storms is twelve each year.

According to NOAA, this is the seventh consecutive year that no major hurricanes have hit the United States.

A major hurricane is a hurricane with sustained winds of 111 m.p.h. or above.

The only major hurricane was Hurricane Michael in early September. That storm had maximum sustained winds of 115 m.p.h. for a short period.

The most memorable storm of the season will most likely be Hurricane Sandy which formed in October.

Sandy made an unprecidented left turn and slammed into southern New Jersey on Ocotber 29th as a post-tropical cyclone.

At one point, Sandy had a diameter of nearly 1,000 miles.

"This year proved that it's wrong to think that only major hurricanes can ruin lives and impact local economies," said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA's National Weather Service.

Four tropical cyclones impacted the United States this season. Tropical Storm Beryl and Tropical Storm Debby in Florida, Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana, and Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy in New Jersey, were the only tropical cyclones to make landfall in the U.S.

"Mother Nature reminded us again this year of how important it is to be prepared and vigilant," Furgione said.

Many of the storms were deflected away from the United States due to a persistent jet stream pattern along the eastern U.S.

Another factor that allowed for an "above-normal" season was the fact that an El Niño event never fully developed in the eastern Pacific ocean. El Niño generally helps to suppress tropical cyclone activity.

According to the South Carolina State Climatology Office, twenty-seven tropical cyclones have made landfall along the South Carolina coast from 1901-2009. That number extends to 2012 as well.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. However, tropical cyclones in the past have formed outside of those two dates.

More information about past hurricanes and tropical storms can be found from the National Hurricane Center.

Let us know in the comment section below what your most memorable storm was this hurricane season!

Stay with the SkyWACH Weather Team for year-round coverage of severe weather.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off