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NOAA: 2012 Atlantic hurricane season 30% stronger than average


El Niņo may have influenced the strength of this year's tropical storms.
El Niņo may have influenced the strength of this year's tropical storms.

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer

November 3, 2012 — NOAA has reported that the strength and duration of the storms that formed in the Atlantic basin this year are 30% higher than the long-term average.

Tropical storm and hurricane activity is about thirty percent above the 1981-2010 average in the Atlantic basin, NOAA has announced.

So far, 19 major storms have formed in the region this year. Experts say there are a variety of reasons why the strength and duration of the storms has been so intense.

"High sea surface temperatures may have been a factor," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

"That could explain why Sandy intensified so quickly."

El Niņo may have also played a role.

"With El Niņo, we saw weather patterns align to increase the development of tropical storms globally," Dillon says.

"There was a spike in activity in the Pacific and Indian oceans this year, and Asia was hit with above-average tropical typhoons."

Visit the International Countries Index to keep on top of weather patterns across the world.

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