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Sarasota News Leader December 14, 2012 Page 44 with an unusually low central pressure ��� west-to-southwest, and they pushed water 29.53 inches of mercury. over Siesta Key Public Beach as well as the seawalls at the downtown Sarasota bayfront. Beryl���s Florida landfall made it the first tropiLocal flooding was reported inland in the cal system to hit the state in 18 months. A far Myakka River Valley. more historic figure is 1908 ��� the last time two tropical systems formed before the 1 June The winds, while persistent, never topped official start of hurricane season. 40 mph. By June 28, Debby was gone. Isaac would come much, much closer to us but The early pair this year made hash of the preleave hardly a trace. dictions of storm gurus William Gray and Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University, who July passed without a single named storm. A said this spring the season would see a low- couple of weak low-pressure systems formed er-than-usual number of storms, with only 10 up over the Florida peninsula, but nothing of them named. In fact, they and AccuWeather came of them. In early August, all the major marked June 1 by increasing their forecasts. predictors upgraded their forecasts to ���averGray and Klotzbach hiked theirs to 13 storms, age storm season��� from ���below average.��� and Accuweather bumped its prediction to 12. The season���s first African ���pipeline��� storm Meanwhile, on June 1 Sarasota set an absolute ��� brewing off the Sahara then crossing the record for rainfall at 2.56 inches. The deluge Atlantic and heading into the Caribbean ��� was unrelated to any tropical system, but it showed up in early August: Ernesto. It would reminded one and all to keep their eyes on become a full hurricane just before tearing the weather. into Belize on Aug. 10. On June 21, Chris became the first hurricane of the season. It was in the mid-Atlantic and predicted to start doing ���donuts.��� Other storms would follow the lead of Chris. In the meantime, an area of low pressure was creating clouds and rain in the western Gulf of Mexico; models suggested the system could go anywhere from South Florida to Texas. The system meandered north to near Apalachicola, gained cyclonic characteristics and become Tropical Storm Debby. It drenched Sarasota with up to 13 inches of rain while crossing the peninsula west-to-east to die in the Atlantic. As Ernesto crossed Mexico and exited into the Pacific Ocean, three other systems were on the map. One of them would become Tropical Storm Helene, destined to cross central Mexico and join Ernesto to die in the Pacific. Florence was the next named storm, a mid-Atlantic non-hurricane nobody. It was followed by Gordon, which attained hurricane status but followed Florence���s ���loop-de-loop��� in midocean. By Aug. 20, the African pipeline was in full force. The National Hurricane Center identified a mid-Atlantic patch of clouds as having a Debby would be Sarasota���s only tangible strong potential to develop, and, indeed, two brush with tropical weather in 2012. Because days later, Tropical Storm Isaac approached the storm was north of town, the winds were the Caribbean out-islands. By Aug. 24, its cen-

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