Every 6 years a bit quieter in the Atlantic….June 3rd, 2012 at 9:38 pm by David Mazza under Weather
We are now officially into the start of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season. We posted the name list on-air a few days ago, and when talking with Leslie on-air she pointed out her name was on the list. Below is the name list for this year.
So when Leslie pointed out her name was on the list, I decided to check out how many times her name was used for a tropical storm or hurricane, and I found out some interesting information. This season is forecast to be a normal season with 9-15 named storms, 4-8 of which will become hurricane, and 1-3 becoming a major hurricane. An average season sees 12 storms, 6 becoming hurricanes, and 3 becoming major hurricanes. So it would see that ‘Leslie’ would be a somewhat common name. Leslie is the 12th name on the list, and 12 is the average for the hurricane season. Well something I found out, incredibly, there has only been 1 Tropical Storm Leslie ever!! Now they recycle the same name lists every 6 years, so I went back and looked at the data from 2012 and went back every 6 years through 1856. Using those 27 occurrences, I found that since storms started getting named, vs using numbers there were only 3 seasons (in that 6 year cycle) that we had at least 12 named storms, only 1 of those had more than 12. Leslie was used in 2000 when we had 15 named storms, it was a tropical storm late that season. In 1988 it should have been used as we had exactly 12 storms, but Tropical Storm 6 formed off the coast of Africa and moved north toward Spain and never officially took a name from the list, so we didn’t use Leslie. In 1964, again we had 12 named storms, but the 12th storm kept the name Tropical Storm 12.
Looking back at the 27 occurrences in the 6 year cycle, we only hit the average of 12 in 19% of the times. The highest numbers of storms in the 6 year cycle we are in 2000 and 1916. None of this holds a lot when it comes to the forecast for the 2012 season, but it does make for some very interesting coincidences.
Below is the date from the 6 year cycles. We had 7 names retired from the lists during the cycles.