2012 Atlantic Storm Names
June 1, 2012
It is June 1, the official beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane season. As tropical weather cognoscenti know, this is the day that the first regularly scheduled Tropical Weather Outlook comes out, the one that lists all of their storm names and pronunciations. It is also the day that I go over the history of storms past with those names.
This set of names was first used in 1982.Because there was extremely strong El Niño event that year, which suppressed tropcial storm formation, only the first five names were used that year. As this of list has tended to be associated with quiet seasons, only three names from the original list (the fewest from any set). For the first time since we’ve been giving storms names, two names have been used before the official start of the season ( 1908 had two hurricanes before June 1 and 1887 had two tropical storms before then; that was well before the practice of storm naming had begun).
Without further ado, here are the names (links for years are to images of the tracking chart for the storm, links for retired names are to the Wikipedia entry):
Alberto – In 1982 he managed to go from nothing to hurricane and back to nothing in the short space between the Yucatan Peninsula and the coast of West Florida. Tropical storm in 1988 and 1994. Central Atlantic category 3 in 2000. 2006 edition came ashore in Florida as a tropical storm. Short-lived tropical storm in 2012.
Beryl – All six times were as a tropical storm (1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006). 2012 version made landfall in Jacksonville Beach, FL and was the strongest landfalling May tropical cyclone since the May 29, 1908 hurricane.
Ernesto – Until 2006, always a tropical storm and never a hurricane (1982, 1988, 1994, 2000). 2006 hurricane made first landfall near Guanatamo Bay, Cuba, weakend to a tropical storm and made subsequent landfalls in Dade County, Florida and Oak Island, North Carolina.
Florence – Gulf of Mexico hurricane in 1988 (passed directly over New Orleans at tropical storm strength). At sea hurricane in 1994 and 2000 and 2006. Most recent edition affected Bermuda and Newfoundland.
Gordon – This spot was held by Gilbert until after the 1988 season. In 1994 a hurricane with a wacky course (at TS strength) through the Caribbean Sea and Straits of Florida en route to briefly threaten the Outer Banks before turning back south. In 2000, the hurricane took a straight line course from the Yucatan to the Big Bend of Florida. 2006 ‘s version was a major hurricane at sea.
Kirk – Added to the list in 2006, yet to debut. Spot was formerly held by Keith.
Leslie – A tropical storm in 2000.
Michael – Hurricane in 2000. Hit Newfoundland as an extratropical system.
Nadine – Tropical storm in 2000.
Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie, and William have never been used. The various seasonal forecasts suggest that we might not see any of those names this season either.