Nov. 30 marks the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, the four-month period from June to November that is traditionally the most active in the tropics. With the effects of Hurricane Sandy becoming the biggest headline in 2012, the hurricane season as a whole was more active than usual.
Nineteen storms were named, 10 of which became hurricanes, and one achieving major hurricane status (Category 3 Hurricane Michael). The average numbers for a hurricane season are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
This is the seventh consecutive year that no major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) made landfall in the United States. Hurricane Sandy was only a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall in the Northeast.
Notable all-time records for Hurricane Sandy can be found on the CBS3 Pinpoint Weather Blog.
NOAA also classified the 2012 season as above-normal based on the overall number, strength and duration of all tropical systems and ranked it as the 11th busiest over the last 30 years.
Predictions at the beginning of the hurricane season called for a less-active hurricane season, based on global climate model forecasts for an El Nino this summer, which traditionally limits tropical activity. El Nino never reached its anticipated strength, likely allowing for more storms to develop. NOAA also notes that, with the exception of Hurricane Sandy, a persistent jet stream over the eastern U.S. helped keep most storms well out at sea and virtually unnoticed by the public.
While peak hurricane season is over for the Atlantic, NOAA cites that 3 percent of tropical activity, including potential hurricane formation, occurs from December to May.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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