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Friday marks the end of an above-normal 2012 Atlantic hurricane season that produced 19 named storms including Hurricane Sandy which wreaked havoc in the Northeast, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The 19 named storms were well above the average of 12, and the 10 hurricanes were above the average of six. The season's lone major hurricane, Michael, a Category 3 hurricane that stayed over the open Atlantic, was below the average of three.
Following Irene in 2011, 2012 marked the second straight year the mid-Atlantic and Northeast suffered devastating impacts from a named storm.
Sandy left millions without power and killed at least 125 people in the U.S. and 71 in the Caribbean as it brought coastal storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and wind.
In Florida, residents had to deal with tropical storms Beryl, which made landfall near Jacksonville Beach, and Debby which made landfall near Steinhatchee on the northwest coast of Florida. Hurricane Isaac narrowly missed Florida, making landfall in Louisiana.
"This year proved that it’s wrong to think that only major hurricanes can ruin lives and impact local economies," Laura Furgione, acting director of NOAA’s National Weather Service, said in a statement. "We are hopeful that after the 2012 hurricane season, more families and businesses all along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts become more 'weather ready' by understanding the risks associated with living near the coastline. Each storm carries a unique set of threats that can be deadly and destructive. Mother Nature reminded us again this year of how important it is to be prepared and vigilant."
Despite the above-normal classification, there have been 10 busier years in the last three decades, NOAA said. And 2012 was the seventh consecutive year that no major hurricanes have hit the United States.
NOAA will release its pre-season outlook for the 2013 hurricane season in May.