End of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season formally comes to a close today.  Contrary to early predictions, it was an extremely active season with nineteen named storms.  As the third consecutive year with that number, 2012 tied the record for the third busiest hurricane season in American history. In spite of all this action, however, only four storms made landfall in the United States: Beryl, Debby, Isaac, and Sandy.

The season, which officially runs from June 1st to November 30th, got off to an early start this year with two storms, Alberto and Beryl, arriving in May.  Another early highlight was Debby.  Forming in June, it was the earliest arrival of any “D” storm in history.  After a lull in July, the season roared back into action with eight storms in August, including Isaac. The most memorable storm of the year, however, was Sandy in late October.  Measuring nearly 1000 miles in diameter, it was the largest hurricane ever recorded.

While none of these landfalling storms were rated higher than category-2 on the Saffir–Simpson scale, their impacts were nonetheless devastating. Claiming the lives of more than three hundred people and causing tens of billions of dollars in damage, this hurricane season will not be forgotten any time soon.

Chart Source: NOAA

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.