Looking back at the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season

By Sonya

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season has ended on a quiet note, but it was actually an active season.

There were 19 named storms, which is well above the average of 12. Ten of the named storms were hurricanes, but only Hurricane Michael was classified as a major hurricane and it remained out to sea. The number of hurricanes in an average year is six with three becoming major hurricanes, which means they reach Category 3, 4 or 5.

The season started out earlier than usual with Tropical Storm Alberto and Tropical Storm Beryl in May. The remnants of Beryl did bring some rain to the Lowcountry, but that was about it.

Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the Gulf coast, but it still send a plethora of moisture our way. We had major flooding across parts of Charleston county. The airport received 2.3 inches while West Ashley, parts of downtown Charleston and Daniel Island received 7.5 inches.

The big talker of the season was Sandy, which was a post-tropical cyclone when it made landfall in New Jersey. The storm devastated parts of the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Even though the storm stayed several hundred miles off our coast, we did have wind gusts from 25 to 36 mph inland and up to 58 mph offshore on Oct. 28.

"This year proved that it's wrong to think that only major hurricanes can ruin lives and impact local economies," said Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "We are hopeful that after the 2012 hurricane season, more families and businesses all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts become more "weather ready" by understanding the risks associated with living near the coastline. Each storm carries a unique set of threats that can be deadly and destructive. Mother Nature reminded us again this year of how important it is to be prepared and vigilant."

Overall, we lucked out here in the Lowcountry as we didn't get any direct hits, but we did feel some minor impacts from a few different storms.

The jet stream remained over the eastern portion of the country for most of the season, which helped to keep most of the storms away from the United States. El Nio never made an appearance, which is why there were more storms than originally forecast. The climate pattern creates strong vertical wind shear, which often keeps tropical systems from intensifying or forming all together.

NOAA will release its pre-season outlook for the 2013 hurricane season in May.