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The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season was most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, shattering even the records of 2005, with a total of 50 tropical/subtropical depressions, 45 named storms, 34 hurricanes, and 29 major hurricanes observed. Hypercane Gordon shattered the record for the world's most powerful storm, having a top wind speed of 510 mph (820 km/h) and a pressure of 799 mbar, far eclipsing 1979's Super Typhoon Tip (which had 190 mph winds and a previously record pressure of 870 mbar). The hypercane was initally a tropical storm that seemed to be on the verge of dying and dissipating by July 1, but while passing over an erupting underwater supervolcano near Bermuda, it formed into a massive superstorm which destroyed much of southern England and eastern Europe, including Schleswig Holstein, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg along with much of Russia's Arctic coast, as well as swamping the Netherlands' coastline. Storms of unusually early formation for the year included Category 2 Hurricanes Alberto and Beryl, both of which formed on January 28 from a splitting tropical wave in the southern Caribbean and later dissipated on February 7 and 9 after impacting Columbia, Panama, and Mexico, respectively. Alberto set and Beryl tied the record for earliest-forming Atlantic storm until 2028's Aaron. The remnants of Hurricane Sandy also spawned the Atlanta 'Super-Tornado', which contained the fastest winds ever recorded on Earth, 702 mph, all-but obliterating downtown Atlanta, leaving only twisted ruins and a one-hundred and fifteen mile-long path of destruction as far as Chattanooga, Tennessee's outskirts, destroying multiple towns and killing nearly six thousand in Atlanta alone (nearly 7700 in total). The second strongest tornado of the year was spawned by Hurricane Isaac in the outskirts of St. Nazaire, France, containing winds of 650 mph, leaving a sixty-eight mile long trail of devastation through eastern France as far as Rennes.

Storms

Note: * indicates name retired from use

Hurricane Alberto

Category 2 hurricane, winds 110 mph
Min. Pressure: 965 mbar
Formed: January 28, 2012
Dissipated: February 7, 2012
Landfall(s): Soledad, Columbia; Colon, Panama; Changuinola, Panama

Hurricane Beryl

Category 2 hurricane, winds 105 mph
Min. Pressure: 971 mbar
Formed: January 28, 2012
Dissipated: February 9, 2012
Landfall(s): Cayman Islands; Cancun, Mexico

Tropical Storm Chris

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 989 mbar
Formed: February 17, 2012
Dissipated: February 26, 2012
Landfall(s): Eleuthera Island, Bahamas; St. Augustine, Florida

Hurricane Debby

Category 3 hurricane, winds 120 mph
Min. Pressure: 957 mbar
Formed: March 29, 2012
Dissipated: April 7, 2012
Landfall(s): Key West, Florida; Port Arthur, Texas

Hurricane Ernesto*

Category 3 hurricane, winds 120 mph
Min. Pressure: 960 mbar
Formed: April 6, 2012
Dissipated: April 20, 2012 Landfall(s): Cancun, Mexico; Honduras-Guatemala border

Hurricane Florence

Category 4 hurricane, winds 140 mph
Min. Pressure: 947 mbar
Formed: May 13, 2012
Dissipated: June 1, 2012 Landfall(s): None

Hypercane Gordon*

Category 9 hypercane, winds 510 mph
Min. Pressure: 799 mbar
Formed: June 30, 2012
Dissipated: September 2, 2012
Landfall(s): Plymouth, England; Weymouth, England; Isle of Wight, England; Oostende, Belgium; Vlissingen, Netherlands; Burghsluis, Netherlands; Sankt Peter-Ording, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Point Hope, Alaska

Hurricane Helene

Category 4 hurricane, winds 150 mph
Min. Pressure: 937 mbar
Formed: July 4, 2012
Dissipated: July 25, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Isaac*

Category 4 hurricane, winds 155 mph
Min. Pressure: 930 mbar
Formed: July 10, 2012
Dissipated: August 2, 2012
Landfall(s): Saint-Nazaire, France; Eastbourne, England

Tropical Storm Joyce

Tropical storm, winds 65 mph
Min. Pressure: 992 mbar
Formed: July 27, 2012
Dissipated: August 5, 2012
Landfall(s): Cape Race, Newfoundland

Subtropical Depression Eleven

Subtropical depression, winds 35 mph
Min. Pressure: 1014 mbar
Formed: July 27, 2012
Dissipated: July 28, 2012
Landfall(s): Mykines Island, Faroe Islands

Hurricane Kirk*

Category 5 hurricane, winds 175 mph
Min. Pressure: 914 mbar
Formed: July 27, 2012
Dissipated: August 10, 2012
Landfall(s): Miami, Florida; Pascagoula, Mississippi; Black Bay, Louisiana; Madisonville, Louisiana

Hurricane Leslie

Category 5 hurricane, winds 170 mph
Min. Pressure: 918 mbar
Formed: August 11, 2012
Dissipated: August 30, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Tropical Storm Michael

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 988 mbar
Formed: August 11, 2012
Dissipated: August 20, 2012
Landfall(s): La Rochelle, France

Hurricane Nadine

Category 2 hurricane, winds 110 mph
Min. Pressure: 970 mbar
Formed: August 20, 2012
Dissipated: September 2, 2012
Landfall(s): Bermuda; Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine

Hurricane Oscar*

Category 5 hurricane, winds 170 mph
Min. Pressure: 917 mbar
Formed: August 29, 2012
September 21, 2012
Landfall(s): Cameron, Louisiana; Florida-Alabama border

Hurricane Patty

Category 4 hurricane, winds 150 mph
Min. Pressure: 929 mbar
Formed: August 30, 2012
Dissipated: September 13, 2012
Landfall(s): Garden City, South Carolina

Hurricane Rafael*

Category 6 hurricane, winds 225 mph
Min. Pressure: 862 mbar
Formed: September 12, 2012
Dissipated: October 1, 2012
Landfall(s): Mastic Beach, New York ; New Haven, Connecticut

Hurricane Sandy*

Category 5 hurricane, winds 180 mph
Min. Pressure: 902 mbar
Formed: September 15, 2012
Dissipated: October 3, 2012
Landfall(s): Savannah, Georgia

Hurricane Tony

Category 5 hurricane, winds 190 mph
Min. Pressure: 897 mbar
Formed: September 17, 2012
Dissipated: October 7, 2012
Landfall(s): Hvolsvöllur, Iceland

Hurricane Valerie

Category 4 hurricane, winds 150 mph
Min. Pressure: 932 mbar
Formed: September 22, 2012
Dissipated: October 10, 2012
Landfall(s): Grenada; Maracaibo, Venezuela

Hurricane William*

Category 6 hurricane, winds 215 mph
Min. Pressure: 870 mbar
Formed: September 25, 2012
Dissipated: October 16, 2012
Landfall(s): Lisbon, Portugal

Hurricane Alpha

Category 5 hurricane, winds 190 mph
Min. Pressure: 893 mbar
Formed: September 26, 2012
Dissipated: October 18, 2012
Landfall(s): Cancun, Mexico; Veracruz, Mexico

Subtropical Depression Twenty-Four

Subtropical depression, winds 35 mph
Min. Pressure: 1007 mbar
Formed: September 28, 2012
Dissipated: September 29, 2012
Landfall(s): Bermuda

Hurricane Beta

Category 4 hurricane, winds 145 mph
Min. Pressure: 941 mbar
Formed: September 30, 2012
Dissipated: October 20, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Gamma

Category 5 hurricane, winds 195 mph
Min. Pressure: 887 mbar
Formed: October 2, 2012
Dissipated: October 30, 2012
Landfall(s): Brownsville, Texas

Hurricane Delta

Category 5 hurricane, winds 185 mph
Min. Pressure: 900 mbar
Formed: October 2, 2012
Dissipated: November 1, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Epsilon

Category 2 hurricane, winds 110 mph
Min. Pressure: 965 mbar
Formed: October 7, 2012
Dissipated: November 3, 2012
Landfall(s): La Romaine, Canada

Tropical Storm Zeta

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 985 mbar
Formed: October 10, 2012
Dissipated: October 19, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Eta

Category 6 hurricane, winds 220 mph
Min. Pressure: 865 mbar
Formed: October 10, 2012
Dissipated: November 10, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Theta*

Category 5 hurricane, winds 190 mph
Min. Pressure: 902 mbar
Formed: October 17, 2012
Dissipated: November 8, 2012
Landfall(s): Canal Zone, Panama

Hurricane Iota*

Category 4 hurricane, winds 150 mph
Min. Pressure: 934 mbar
Formed: October 20, 2012
Dissipated: November 13, 2012
Landfall(s): Virginia Beach, Virginia; Gloucester Point, Virginia

Hurricane Kappa*

Category 4 hurricane, winds 155 mph
Min. Pressure: 930 mbar
Formed: October 26, 2012
Dissipated: November 19, 2012
Landfall(s): Ocean City, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland

Tropical Storm Lambda

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 987 mbar
Formed: October 30, 2012
Dissipated: November 7, 2012
Landfall(s): Kilkee, Ireland

Tropical Storm Mu

Tropical storm, winds 65 mph
Min. Pressure: 990 mbar
Formed: November 1, 2012
Dissipated: November 10, 2012
Landfall(s): Swansea, Wales

Tropical Depression Thirty-Six

Tropical depression, winds 30 mph
Min. Pressure: 1009 mbar
Formed: November 1, 2012
Dissipated: November 2, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Tropical Depression Thirty-Seven

Tropical depression, winds 35 mph
Min. Pressure: 1013 mbar
Formed: November 2, 2012
Dissipated: November 3, 2012
Landfall(s): Cedar Hammock, Georgia

Tropical Storm Nu

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 986 mbar
Formed: November 2, 2012
Dissipated: November 9, 2012
Landfall(s): Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland; St. Brides Bay, Wales

Hurricane Xi

Category 2 hurricane, winds 110 mph
Min. Pressure: 969 mbar
Formed: November 10, 2012
Dissipated: November 27, 2012
Landfall(s): St. Helier, France; Alderney Island, France; Isle of Wight, England

Tropical Storm Omicron

Tropical storm, winds 55 mph
Min. Pressure: 996 mbar
Formed: November 16, 2012
Dissipated: November 20, 2012
Landfall(s): Watchman Island, Canada

Tropical Storm Pi

Tropical storm, winds 65 mph
Min. Pressure: 989 mbar
Formed: November 19, 2012
Dissipated: November 24, 2012
Landfall(s): Delta Amacuro, Venezuela

Hurricane Rho

Category 4, winds 145 mph
Min. Pressure: 943 mbar
Formed: November 22, 2012
Dissipated: December 10, 2012
Landfall(s):São João de Pirabas, Brazil

Tropical Storm Sigma

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 988 mbar
Formed: November 22, 2012
Dissipated: November 29, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Tau

Category 4 hurricane, winds 155 mph
Min. Pressure: 929 mbar
Formed: November 22, 2012
Dissipated: December 8, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Upsilon

Category 2 hurricane, winds 105 mph
Min. Pressure: 971 mbar
Formed: November 22, 2012
Dissipated: December 2, 2012
Landfall(s): Kitsigsut, Greenland

Hurricane Phi

Category 5 hurricane, winds 165 mph
Min. Pressure: 910 mbar
Formed: November 22, 2012
Dissipated: December 16, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Hurricane Chi

Category 5 hurricane, winds 180 mph
Min. Pressure: 868 mbar
Formed: December 1, 2012
Dissipated: December 23, 2012
Landfall(s): Sal Island, Cape Verde; Nouakchott, Mauritania

Tropical Storm Psi

Tropical storm, winds 70 mph
Min. Pressure: 985 mbar
Formed: December 5, 2012
Dissipated: December 13, 2012
Landfall(s): Santa Maria, Azores

Hurricane Omega*

Category 5 hurricane, winds 195 mph
Min. Pressure: 879 mbar
Formed: December 19, 2012
Dissipated: January 9, 2013
Landfall(s): Rota, Spain; Almuñécar, Spain

Tropical Depression Fifty

Tropical depression, winds 35 mph
Min. Pressure: 1004 mbar
Formed: December 23, 2012
Dissipated: December 25, 2012
Landfall(s): None

Retirement

The level of activity ensured that that a record number of names would be retired. These names were Ernesto, Gordon, Isaac, Kirk, Oscar, Rafael, Sandy, and William. Theta, Iota, Kappa, and Omega were also retired, but were also marked for potential reuse in the future, though activity would never again reach this level. The record for number of names retired exceeded 2005's five retired, with eleven being officially retired, but only eight unofficially, excepting the Greek names.

Table of Storms

# Name Period Active Highest Category Windspeed mph (km/h) Min. Pressure Landfall(s) Deaths
1 Alberto January 28 - February 7 Category 2 hurricane 110 mph (177 km/h) 965 mbar Soledad, Columbia - TS
Colon, Panama - Cat. 2
Changuinola, Panama - Cat .1
26 direct
38 indirect
2 Beryl January 28 - February 9 Category 2 hurricane 105 mph (168 km/h) 971 mbar Cayman Islands - Cat. 1
Cancun, Mexico - Cat. 2
Veracruz, Mexico - TS
23 direct
30 indirect
3 Chris February 17 - February 26 Tropical storm 70 mph (112 km/h) 989 mbar Eleuthera Island, Bahamas - TS
St. Augustine, Florida - TS
2 direct
3 indirect
4 Debby March 12 - April 7 Category 3 hurricane 120 mph (193 km/h) 957 mbar Key West, Florida - TS
Port Arthur, Texas - Cat. 2
25 direct
6 indirect
5 Ernesto April 6 - April 20 Category 3 hurricane 120 mph (193 km/h) 960 mbar Cancun, Mexico - TS
Honduras-Guatemala border - Cat. 1
32 direct
14 indirect
6 Florence May 13 - June 1 Category 4 hurricane 140 mph (225 km/h) 947 mbar None None
7 Gordon June 30 - September 2 Category 9 hypercane 510 mph (820 km/h) 799 mbar Plymouth, England - Cat. 9
Weymouth, England - Cat. 9
Isle of Wight, England - Cat. 9
Oostende, Belgium Cat. 9
Vlissingen, Netherlands - Cat. 9
Burghsluis, Netherlands - Cat. 9
Sankt Peter-Ording, Germany - Cat. 8
Helsinki, Finland - Cat. 7
St. Petersburg, Russia - Cat. 7
Point Hope, Alaska - Cat. 1
1,219,407 direct
422,015 indirect
8 Helene July 4 - July 25 Category 4 hurricane 150 mph (241 km/h) 937 mbar None None
9 Isaac July 10 - August 2 Category 4 hurricane 155 mph (249 km/h) 930 mbar Saint-Nazaire, France - Cat. 4
Eastbourne, England - TS
None
10 Joyce July 27 - August 5 Tropical storm 65 mph (225 km/h) 992 mbar Cape Race, Newfoundland 5 direct
1 indirect
11 Eleven July 27 - July 28 Subtropical depression 35 mph (56 km/h) 1014 mbar Mykines, Faroe Islands - SubTD None
12 Kirk July 27 - August 10 Category 5 hurricane 175 mph (281 km/h) 914 mbar Miami, Florida - TS
Pascagoula, Mississippi - Cat. 5
Black Bay, Louisiana - Cat. 4
Madisonville, Louisiana - Cat. 4
1,235 direct
690 indirect
13 Leslie August 11 - August 30 Category 5 hurricane 170 mph (273 km/h) 918 mbar None None
14 Michael August 11 - August 20 Tropical storm 70 mph (112 km/h) 988 mbar La Rochelle, France - TS 10 direct
2 indirect
15 Nadine August 20 - September 2 Category 2 hurricane 110 mph (177 km/h) 970 mbar Bermuda - Cat. 1
Boston, Massachusetts - TS
Portland, Maine - Cat. 1
45 direct
60 indirect
16 Oscar August 29 - September 21 Category 5 hurricane 170 mph (273 km/h) 917 mbar Cameron, Louisiana - Cat. 4
Florida-Alabama border - Cat. 3
985 direct
485 indirect
17 Patty August 30 - September 13 Category 4 hurricane 150 mph (241 km/h) 929 mbar Garden City, South Carolina - Cat. 1 75 direct
105 indirect
18 Rafael August 29 - September 21 Category 6 hurricane 225 mph (362 km/h) 862 mbar Mastic Beach, New York - Cat. 5
New Haven, Connecticut - Cat. 3
1,709 direct
927 indirect
19 Sandy August 29 - September 21 Category 5 hurricane 180 mph (289 km/h) 917 mbar Savannah, Georgia - Cat. 5 2,098 direct
1,002 indirect
20 Tony September 17 - October 7 Category 5 hurricane 190 mph (273 km/h) 897 mbar Hvolsvöllur, Iceland - Cat. 1 67 direct
100 indirect
21 Valerie September 22 - October 10 Category 4 hurricane 150 mph (273 km/h) 932 mbar Grenada - TS
Maracaibo, Venezuela - Cat. 2
58 direct
129 indirect
22 William September 25 - October 16 Category 6 hurricane 215 mph (346 km/h) 870 mbar Lisbon, Portugal - Cat. 5 1,858 direct
929 indirect
23 Alpha September 26 - October 18 Category 5 hurricane 190 mph (305 km/h) 893 mbar Cancun, Mexico - TS
Tuxpan, Mexico - Cat. 4
96 direct
128 indirect
24 Twenty-Four September 28 - September 29 Subtropical depression 35 mph (56 km/h) 1007 mbar Bermuda - SubTD None direct
1 indirect

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