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May-June 2013

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Atlantic Hurricanes 2012: Northeastern United States Devastated by Sandy

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was marked by above-average tropical cyclone activity with the formation of 19 tropical storms, of which 10 became hurricanes (see photo on next page and Table 1). Two of the hurricanes—Michael and Sandy—strengthened into major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). The numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes were each above the long-term average (1981–2010) of 12 and six, respectively. The two major hurricanes were slightly below the long-term average of three, and they only lasted for a total of 12 hours. Six of the storms made landfall, and five of the named cyclones formed from nontropical origins.

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