2012 Hurricane Track Summary
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Learn about 2012 Hurricane Summary
The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was extremely active, tied with 1887, 1995, 2010, and 2011 for having the third-most named storms on record. The season officially began on June 1 and ended on November 30, dates that conventionally delimit the period during each year in which most tropical cyclones form in the Atlantic Ocean. However, Alberto, the first system of the year, developed on May 19 – the earliest date of formation since Tropical Storm Ana in 2003. A second tropical cyclone, Beryl, developed later that month. This was the first occurrence of two pre-season named storms in the Atlantic basin since 1908. It moved ashore in North Florida on May 29 with winds of 65 mph (100 km/h), making it the strongest pre-season storm to make landfall in the Atlantic basin. Tropical Storm Debby in June became the earliest fourth named storm, surpassing the record of July 5 set by Hurricane Dennis of 2005. Another record was set by Hurricane Nadine later in the season; the system became the fourth-longest-lived tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic, with a total duration of 22.25 days. The final storm, Tony, dissipated on October 25.
Pre-season forecasts by the Colorado State University (CSU) called for an inactive season, with 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its first outlook on May 24, predicting a total of 9–15 named storms, 4–8 hurricanes, and 1–3 major hurricanes; both agencies noted the possibility of an El Niño, which limits tropical cyclone activity. Following two pre-season storms, the CSU updated their forecast to 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes, while the NOAA upped their forecast numbers to 12–17 named storms, 5–8 hurricanes, and 2–3 major hurricanes on August 9. Despite this, activity far surpassed the predictions.
Impact during the 2012 season was widespread and significant. In mid-May, Beryl moved ashore the coastline of Florida, causing 3 deaths. In late June and early August, Tropical Storm Debby and Hurricane Ernesto caused 10 and 13 deaths after striking Florida and the Yucatán, respectively. In mid-August, the remnants of Tropical Storm Helene killed two people after making landfall in Mexico. At least 41 deaths and $2.39 billion were attributed to Hurricane Isaac, which struck Louisiana on two separate occasions in late August. However, by far the costliest and deadliest cyclone of the season was Hurricane Sandy, which formed on October 22. After striking Cuba at Category 3 intensity on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale, the hurricane moved ashore the southern coastline of New Jersey. Sandy left 285 dead and $75 billion worth of damage in its wake, making it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane on record, behind only Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Collectively, the season's storms caused at least 354 fatalities and nearly $77.9 billion in damage, making 2012 the deadliest season since 2008 and the costliest since 2005.