The 2011 hurricane season predicted 19 storms out of which 7 actually turned out to be hurricanes. The biggest one of them all was Hurricane Irene, said to be the most devastating in the last four years. It resulted in the financial damage running up to $19 billion in 2011, which also left 56 people dead. So what is in store for 2012?
Weather experts at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) said that though 2012 should have a near-normal season, there may be 9 to 15 names storms out of which 1 to 3 hurricanes may be of Category 3 strength, as indicated on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane scale.
Thought the Atlantic Hurricane Season started on June 1, 2012, one heard of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in the non-tropical region offshore of South Carolina. As it grew into the stature of a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center named the phenomenon ‘Alberto’. At around the same time, there was another tropical storm which goes by the name Aletta, developed in the Pacific. So, both Aletta and Arthur actually began the hurricane season in the Atlantic and Pacific regions before June.
Weather experts too do not foresee any catastrophic effects from the hurricanes in 2012. They also concede that out of the 15 named storms may be hurricanes and out of which only 3 can be cause of major concern. The United States coastline may bear the brunt of landfall due to storms.
The names of the tropical storms that may strike the Atlantic region in 2012 include Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Issac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William. The most powerful tropical storm so far, has been Beryl. Alberto had wind speed measuring up to 60 miles per hour and affected places like North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Beryl, on the other hand, had wind speed of 70 miles per hour and resulted in 4 deaths and one person being missing. It actually became a powerful tropical storm on May 27 reaching its peak wind speed but it became weak in strength by May 30.
The hurricane season should continue till November 30. 2012. The seasonal average for the past 30 years indicate 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The good thing to smile for this year is that El Nino may become powerful during the course of the summer. This is nice to know because El Ninos can suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic. However, the unpredictable nature of the weather and the fact that the last three years have been quite a dampener in our national exchequer still leave the cause for us to be better prepared for unpleasant hurricane activity.