Hurricane season ‘most unusual’ in 2012 - US researchers

29 November 2012 16:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The 2012 hurricane season was one of the most unusual seasons on record as a significant number of weaker cyclones combined with a general lack of major hurricane activity, researchers at the Colorado State University (CSU) said in an update on Thursday.

“The 2012 hurricane season had more activity than predicted in our seasonal forecasts,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the CSU's hurricane forecasts.

“It was notable for having a very large number of weak, high latitude tropical cyclones but only one major hurricane that lasted for a mere six hours,” Klotzbach said.

The season saw 19 named storms, 10 hurricanes, but only one major hurricane.
This compares with the CSU’s forecast from June of 13 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Only 2005, with 28 named storms, and 1933, with 21, had more named storms than 2012.

As for hurricanes, only five other years had more than 10 hurricanes occur in a single season since 1944. But with only one major hurricane, 2012 saw the fewest major hurricanes to occur in the Atlantic basin since 1997.

The most devastating event for the US was last month’s “Superstorm Sandy” – which caused the most economic damage ever associated with a single storm in US history, Klotzbach said.

Sandy was a “very atypical system,” he said.

“Its destruction was the result of a combination of a mid-latitude cyclone and tropical cyclone whose north-westerly track brought major flooding to the New York City and New Jersey coastal areas,” he said.

CSU researcher William Gray added: “Although storms such as Sandy are extremely rare, these types of tropical cyclones are well within natural variability, and should not be attributed to increases in human-induced greenhouse gases.”

US chemical manufacturers, especially on the Gulf coast, keep a close eye on weather patterns during the hurricane season, since hurricanes and storms can disrupt operations.


By: Stefan Baumgarten
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