The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 30, 2012

Deadly, destructive 2012 hurricane season ends

— MIAMI (AP) — The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season that spawned the destruction of Sandy and Isaac has come to an end as one for the record books.

There were 19 named storms in what meteorologists consider an above-average year that tied as being the third most-active season since 1851. The season runs from June 1st to November 30th, although tropical storms can and do sometimes develop outside those dates.

Even without a so-called major storm reaching the U.S., there was plenty of damage. A storm is classed as major once it becomes a Category 3 hurricane, with top sustained winds of 111 miles per hour (178 kph) and more.

Seven years have now gone by without a major hurricane making U.S. landfall, the longest stretch on record.

Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said a persistent jet stream pattern has steered storms away from the U.S. in recent years.

It wasn't enough to keep away Sandy, which morphed from hurricane to superstorm as it slammed into the New Jersey coast in October and wreaked havoc across the Northeast. It left millions without power and killed at least 125 people in the U.S. and 71 in the Caribbean.

The storm is estimated to have caused about $62 billion in damage and other losses in the U.S., most of it in New York and New Jersey. It is the second-costliest storm in U.S. history after 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Isaac struck southern Louisiana in August on the eve of Hurricane Katrina's seventh anniversary, swamping the Gulf Coast after trudging through the Gulf of Mexico and delaying the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Sandy combined with an early winter storm and blast of artic air from the north to create a deadly brew meteorologists coined "Frankenstorm" and struck two days before Halloween.

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