US residents, businesses must understand storm risks – NOAA

29 November 2012 21:04  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The 2012 hurricane season underlines the importance for US residents and businesses on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to better understand the risks of living near coast lines, the US National Oceanic and Atomspheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday.

Even though the season had only one major hurricane, a number of storms, including Sandy in October, turned out to be deadly and destructive, said Laura Furgione, acting director of the NOAA’s National Weather Service.

“Each storm carries a unique set of threats,” Furgione said. “Mother Nature reminded us again this year of how important it is to be prepared and vigilant.”

The 2012 season, which ends on 30 November, marked the second consecutive year that the mid-Atlantic and northeast suffered devastating impacts from a named storm – with Sandy this year and Irene last year causing fatalities, injuries, and tremendous destruction from coastal storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and wind, the agency said.

Overall, NOAA classified the 2012 season as above-normal and active, but not exceptionally so, as there were 10 busier years in the last three decades.

The 2012 season saw 19 named storms, of which 10 became hurricanes and one became a major hurricane.

The number of named storms was well above the average of 12. The number of hurricanes was also above the average of six, but the number of major hurricanes is below the average of three.

NOAA added that the Atlantic region is in an ongoing era of high activity for hurricanes that began in 1995. Since 1995, more than 70% of seasons have been above normal, including 2012.

Historically, Atlantic high-activity eras have lasted 25 to 40 years, with the previous one occurring from the mid-1930s until 1970, the agency said.

Earlier on Thursday, hurricane forecaster at the Colorado State University also noted the damage caused by storms during the 2012 season.

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
+1 713 525 2653



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