The 2012 Atlantic basin hurricane season officially came to an end Nov. 30 with 19 named storms forming and four of the tropical systems affecting the United States with one of them bringing stormy conditions to Pine Bluff.
Hurricane Isaac made landfall south of New Orleans in the overnight hours of Aug. 28 with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. The Commercial reported at the time that Isaac left its mark on Pine Bluff as a tropical depression by dumping 8.23 inches of rainfall on the area between noon Aug. 30 and 5 p.m. Aug. 31. The bulk of the rainfall fell in just a few hours during the morning rush hour Aug. 30, flooding many areas of town as reported by the Commercial.
AccuWeather, a State College, Pa.-based private weather forecasting firm, compiled a set of statistics on the 2012 hurricane season, noting that it is tied with 2010 and 2011 for third most active season with 19 named storms in those years as well.
The storms with the strongest winds include Hurricane Michael with top winds of 115 mph; Hurricane Sandy with top winds of 110 mph; and Hurricane Gordon with top winds of 110 mph, according to AccuWeather.
The costliest storms include Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $50 billion in damage; Hurricane Isaac with $2.3 billion in damage; and Tropical Storm Debby with $308 million in damage.
The deadliest storms of 2012 are topped by Hurricane Sandy, responsible for 253 deaths; Hurricane Isaac with 41 deaths; and Hurricane Ernesto with 12 deaths.
Storm intensities as measured by barometric pressure begin with Hurricane Sandy which fell to 940 millibars at its lowest point; Hurricane Michael at 964 mb; and Tropical Storm Helene at 965 mb.
The storm breakdown for the year includes nine tropical storms, which are measured as storms with wind speeds between 39 mph and 73 mph; six Category 1 hurricanes, with wind speeds between 74 mph and 95 mph; three Category 2 hurricanes with wind speeds between 96 mph and 110 mph; and one Category 3 hurricane with wind speeds between 111 mph and 129 mph. No Category 4 or Category 5 hurricanes were recorded in the Atlantic basin during the 2012 hurricane season.
The earliest storm was Tropical Storm Alberto, which formed May 19, nearly two weeks before the official June 1 start of the season; while the latest was Hurricane Sandy which lost its tropical characteristics Oct. 29.
The longest duration storm was Hurricane Nadine, which lasted for 24 days; and the shortest was Tropical Storm Joyce which lasted three days.