Thus far, the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season that is about at its midpoint has seen 14 tropical storms, with seven strengthening to hurricane status.
According to catastrophe modeling firm Risk Management Solutions (RMS), the current hurricane season has been active:
- One of these hurricanes has become a major hurricane – Hurricane Michael, which intensified into a Category 3 hurricane on September 6, but only maintained that status for 6 hours.
- At this point (September 13) in 2012 the season is the second most active season (tied with 1936) since records began in 1851, in terms of the number of named storms. Only 2005 and 2011 had more named storms as of September 13.
- Eight tropical storms formed in August, making August 2012 the most active August in terms of Atlantic basin tropical storm activity, tied with the 2004 season.
- As of September 13, the season is just over halfway through, and on average, are currently in the most active month– September 10 is officially classed as the peak of the hurricane season.
- Between 1950 and 2011 on average four tropical storms formed in September, with an average of five tropical storms forming in September between 1995 and 2011. (2004 had four tropical storms in September, and 2005 had five tropical storms in September—all of which strengthened to hurricanes.)
“Seasonal forecasts for 2012, issued at the beginning of August called for around 14 tropical storms in the Atlantic in 2012,” said Dr. Christine Ziehmann, director of Model Product Management at RMS. “The 2012 season is currently on track to exceed these forecasts, especially if September is typical of the 1995-2011 average.”
A weak to moderate El Niño is forecast to develop during September, which has the potential to inhibit tropical storm development. However through the 2004 hurricane season a weak El Niño was prevalent, although there was still an above-average number of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes—the season closing with 14 tropical storms, nine hurricanes and six major hurricanes.
Source: Risk Management Solutions