Following the rare late-May landfall of Beryl, there are indications that the East Coast will remain vulnerable with the northern Gulf Coast also at risk during the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
June 1 marked the official start to the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, although the atmosphere jumped the gun with Alberto and Beryl forming off the Southeast coast in May. According to the National Hurricane Center, this is the first time since 1908 that two tropical cyclones developed before June 1. Beryl is the strongest pre-June tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States.
Despite the early start to the season, the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team still believes that 2012 will be a near-normal hurricane season with 12 named storms, five named hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
Astronaut, Ron Garan, snapped this photo of Hurricane Irene from aboard the International Space Station on Aug. 22, 2011. NOAA averages are based on data from 1981-2010.
Three landfalls, in addition to Beryl, are forecast in the U.S. with the potential for one with major impact.
"Many of the [previous] seasons that had May or even April storms had one big impact storm affecting the U.S. Betsy in 1965 and well known Agnes of 1972 are good examples," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski explained.
The most likely places in the U.S. to be impacted by storms this season are the East Coast, including Florida, and the northern Gulf coast.
Kottlowski stated that analogue years (past years with similar weather patterns) for this hurricane season all had multiple landfalls over the northern Gulf coast, particularly between Lake Charles, La., and Apalachicola, Fla.
"Keep in mind that many landfalling hurricanes do not just impact the region of landfall. Impacts can cover a large area far removed from landfall... usually flooding rain," Kottlowski warned to people who live outside of the areas at highest risk for landfall this season.
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