2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recap

The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season defied predictions and became the third consecutive year with 19 named storms. Two of those formed before the June 1 official start of the Hurricane Season.

2012 Atlantic Basin Storms

Name

Formed

Max.

Name

Formed

Max.

Name

Formed

Max.

Alberto

05/19

Helene

08/17

Oscar

10/04

Beryl

05/25

Isaac

08/21

Patty

10/11

Chris

06/18

Joyce

08/23

Refael

10/12

Debby

06/23

Kirk

08/28

Sandy

10/22

Ernesto

08/02

Leslie

08/30

Tony

10/23

Florence

08/04

Michael

09/04

Valerie

N/A

Gordon

08/16

Nadine

09/12

William

N/A

2012 Hurricane Season Timeline


Tropical Storm Alberto

Tropical Storm Alberto, was a short-lived pre-season tropical storm near the southeastern U.S. coast.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Alberto


Tropical Storm Beryl

Tropical Storm Beryl was a pre-season tropical storm that made landfall in northeastern Florida and subsequently affected portions of the southeastern United States. It was the strongest pre-season tropical cyclone of record to make landfall in the United States.

Beryl directly caused one death2 when a severe thunderstorm associated with the cyclone blew down a tree onto an SUV in Orangeburg County, South Carolina, killing the occupant. The storm caused minor property damage in the United States, but the insured amounts were less than the $25 million dollar threshold used by the Property Claims Service to declare a catastrophe. Thus, an estimated damage figure is not available.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Beryl


Hurricane Chris

Hurricane Chris became 2012's first Atlantic hurricane on June 21 in the open waters of the North Atlantic at a latitude of 41 degrees north, farther north than New York City! Only a single 1893 hurricane was farther north as a hurricane in June than Chris. Only twice before in history (1959 and 1887) has the third named storm of the season formed earlier than Chris. No June tropical cyclone has ever become a hurricane farther north than Chris.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Chris.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Chris


Tropical Storm Debby

Debby was a large tropical storm that formed in the south-central Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in the Florida Big Bend region. It caused considerable freshwater flooding, primarily in central and northern Florida.

Though only a tropical storm, Debby was a reminder that it doesn't take a hurricane to cause major problems. The storm spawned numerous tornadoes and caused significant flooding in the Florida. Debby produced two days of torrential rains across portions of the Florida peninsula, with central and north Florida receiving the bulk of the rainfall. The highest storm total observed was near Curtis Mill in Wakulla County, where a local resident measured 28.78 inches. Several reports greater than 20 inches were received in this same region, about midway between Tallahassee and Apalachicola. A second maximum in rainfall, with totals also in excess of 20 inches, occurred between Lake City and the Florida/Georgia border. Widespread rainfall totals of greater than 10 inches were reported over the west-central Florida coast north of Tampa to the eastern Florida Panhandle and eastward to parts of northeastern Florida.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Debby


Hurricane Ernesto

Hurricane Ernesto was a weak tropical storm as it passed through the Windward Islands and eastern Caribbean Sea. It quickly strengthened over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and became a category 2 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) just before landfall along the coast of the southern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Media reports indicate that Ernesto is responsible for seven direct deaths and five indirect deaths in Mexico. Three of the direct deaths were wind related, four were caused by water, and one was the result of a lightning strike. None of the deaths occurred in the region where Ernesto made landfall as a hurricane.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Ernesto


Tropical Storm Florence

Tropical Storm Florence Florence was a short-lived tropical storm over the eastern Atlantic Ocean that dissipated east of the northern Leslieward Islands.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Florence.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Florence


Hurricane Gordon

Hurricane Gordon reached category 2 status (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) in the north Atlantic. It weakened to a category 1 hurricane before it moved over Santa Maria Island in the Azores.

There were no reports of casualties associated with Gordon. The elevated sea level resulted in minor floods in several shore locations in the Azores. There were some fallen trees, a few landslides and power outages, but there were no significant material losses.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Gordon


Tropical Storm Helene

Tropical Storm Helene had two brief periods of existence as a tropical cyclone and made landfall as a tropical depression near Tampico, Mexico.

Helene caused no casualties as a tropical cyclone, although reports from the Associated Press indicate that two people died in Trinidad due to heavy rains and mudslides when the remnants of Tropical Depression Seven moved across the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Helene


Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane Isaacwas a tropical cyclone that spent most of its life as a tropical storm but became a category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) a few hours before making landfall in southeastern Louisiana. The cyclone produced heavy rainfall and inland flooding across portions of the Caribbean as it moved through the Lesser Antilles, and it made landfalls along the southwestern peninsula of Haiti and extreme eastern Cuba. Isaac became a large tropical cyclone and caused extensive storm surge and inland flooding over southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana.

Isaac is estimated to be directly responsible for 34 deaths in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States. Five direct deaths were reported in the United States. A 62-year-old woman in Lexington, Mississippi, and a 52-year-old man in Picayune, Mississippi, died when strong winds blew trees onto their cars. A 75-year-old man died in Slidell, Louisiana, when he drove his car off an Interstate 10 on-ramp and drowned in 9 ft of water in a roadside ditch. In addition, a couple in their mid-40s was found drowned in their house from storm surge that overtopped a levee in Braithwaite, Louisiana

The Property Claim Services of the Insurance Services Office estimates that the insured damage in the United States from Isaac is about $970 million. In addition, the National Flood Insurance Program has paid out about $407 million for losses due to storm surge and inland flooding. Adjusting for non-insured losses, the total U.S. damage estimate is about $2.35 billion.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Isaac


Tropical Storm Joyce

Tropical Storm Joyce was named on August 23 and tied Jerry from 1995 as the second-earliest forming tenth named storm on record. Only 2005 saw the tenth named storm form earlier (Jose).

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Tropical Storm Joyce.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Joyce


Hurricane Kirk

Hurricane Kirk was a small Category 2 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) thatspent its life over the central and northeastern Atlantic.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Kirk.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Kirk


Hurricane Leslie

Hurricane Leslie was a long-lived tropical cyclone but a short-lived category 1 hurricane that skirted Bermuda and made landfall as a strong extratropical storm along the Burin Peninsula of southeastern Newfoundland. Hurricane Leslie was also the eighth tropical storm to form in August, tying a record for most named storms in a month.

There were no reports of casualties associated with Leslie, either while it was a tropical cyclone or during its post-tropical phase. No damage estimates were available from either Bermuda or Canada.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Leslie


Hurricane Michael

Major Hurricane Michael was briefly a Category 3 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) as it moved over the east-central Atlantic Ocean. Michael is only the fifth major hurricane in the satellite era to develop from a disturbance of non-tropical origin.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Michael.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Michael


Hurricane Nadine

Hurricane Nadine was a tropical cyclone for 21.75 days making Nadine the fifth longest-lasting Atlantic tropical/subtropical cyclone on record. Nadine's haphazard path affected The Azores not once, but twice, producing wind gusts over 50 mph in a few spots each time. Nadine strengthened to a hurricane three different times.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Nadine.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Nadine


Tropical Storm Oscar

Tropical Storm Oscar was a short-lived tropical storm over the eastern Atlantic Ocean that did not affect land.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Oscar.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Oscar


Tropical Storm Patty

Tropical Storm Patty was a short-lived, nearly stationary tropical storm over the western Atlantic Ocean just east of the Bahamas.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Patty.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Patty


Hurricane Rafael

Hurricane Rafael moved across the northern Leeward Islands as a tropical storm and became a category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) over the Atlantic well south of Bermuda.

There was one direct death associated with Rafael in Guadeloupe, when the person was drowned while attempting to cross a flooded river. There were no reports of significant damage.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Rafael


Hurricane Sandy

Major Hurricane Sandy was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane in post-analysis. Data from the Hurricane Hunters showed that Sandy had 115 mph sustained winds at landfall in Cuba, making Sandy the second major hurricane of the 2012 season (Michael was the other.) Sandy was not a hurricane when it made landfall in New Jersey, having transitioned to a post-tropical cyclone when it was 2.5 hours and 50 miles away from landfall. Sandy officially made landfall in New Jersey as a post-tropical cyclone with sustained 80 mph winds and a central pressure of 945 mb. However, Sandy did bring hurricane force sustained winds to the coast before transitioning to a post-tropical cyclone.

Sandy by the numbers: some statistics from NHC's final report on Sandy:

  • Death toll: 147 (72 in the U.S., 54 in Haiti, 11 in Cuba)
  • U.S. Damage: $50 billion, second costliest hurricane of all-time
  • Cuban Damage: $2 billion, fourth costliest hurricane of all-time
  • Haitian Damage: $0.75 billion, costliest hurricane of all-time
  • Homes damages/destroyed: 945,000 (650,000 in U.S.)
  • Power outages: 8.5 million U.S. customers, 2nd most for a natural disaster behind the 1993 blizzard (10 million)
  • Maximum sustained winds measured: 93 mph at Cabo Lucrecia, Cuba
  • Maximum U.S. sustained winds measured: 75 mph at Great Gull Island, New York
  • Peak U.S. wind gust: 95 mph at Eaton's Neck, Long Island, NY (24 m elevation)
  • Maximum U.S. storm surge: 12.65', King's Point, NY, west end of Long Island Sound
  • Maximum U.S. Storm Tide (measured above MLLW): 14.58', Bergen Point, NJ
  • Maximum significant wave height: 33.1' at the buoy east of Cape Hatteras, NC (2nd highest: 32.5' at the Entrance to New York Harbor)
  • Maximum rainfall: 28.09", Mill Bank, Jamaica
  • Maximum U.S. rainfall: 12.83", Bellevue, MD
  • Maximum snowfall: 36", Richwood, WV and Wolf Laurel Mountain, NC

The final analysis of Hurricane Sandy from the NHC weighs in at 157 pages and 14 Mb

Tropical Cyclone Report For Hurricane Sandy


Tropical Storm Tony

Tropical Storm Tony was a short-lived and relatively weak tropical storm that remained over the central Atlantic through its lifetime.

There were no reports of damage or casualties associated with Tony.

Tropical Cyclone Report For Tropical Storm Tony


The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season Didn't Produce Much Of Note:

  • The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is tied for the third-most active season on record.
  • After seeing four named storms by the end of June, things went quiet in July. We did not see a single tropical depression or named storm during the entire month in the Atlantic basin.
  • Beryl was the strongest tropical cyclone to make a U.S. landfall prior to June 1 on record!
  • Hurricane Chris was the farthest north any June hurricane as formed.
  • The Atlantic came back to life August 1st with the formation of Tropical Depression Five. The depression became Tropical Storm Ernesto the very next day. Ernesto was the first of eight named storms in August 2012. along with Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk and Leslie, August 2012 tied August 2004 for the most named storms to form in that month.
  • Tropical Storm Nadine formed in the tropical Atlantic Ocean on September 11 and spent a total of just over three weeks, 21.75 days to be exact, as a named tropical or subtropical cyclone. Nadine was the fifth longest-lasting Atlantic tropical/subtropical cyclone on record, according to the "best-track" historical database.

USA Weather Related Deaths and Destruction (World Wide Data Not Yet Compiled)