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Busy Hurricane Season Ends Today

November 30, 2012 | WMFE - The Atlantic Hurricane season comes to an end today. It concludes in a busier than expected year punctuated by one of the most damaging storms on record, Hurricane Sandy. Weather experts say an expected weather pattern from the Pacific failed to materialize in the Atlantic basin and that could be responsible for an unusual six month season.

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When it began, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a near-normal season of anywhere between 9 and 15 named storms.

The final number turned out to be 19 with most systems, including the season's only major hurricane, Michael, which fizzled out in the ocean and posed little threat to land.

Isaac in late August and Sandy in late October were the notable exceptions.

The National Hurricane Center's Dennis Feltgen says a visitor from the Pacific never showed up.

“We expected El Nino to develop, at least by the middle of the season and of course, El Nino tends to suppress hurricane activity by increasing wind shear across the tropics." Feltgen said. “El Nino never materialized an as a result, we had basically a neutral year which allowed for a fairly active pattern to develop.”

That active pattern shifted west with the jet stream late in the season,
allowing Sandy to brush by Florida and follow its destructive course to the northeast, a path Feltgen says forecasters have never seen in more than 150 years of tracking storms.



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