POSTED: Monday, December 31, 2012 - 8:57am
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - 8:57pm
BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC33) — As we look toward the New Year, many of us will be taking time to reflect on the past 12 months. We will reminisce about what we did wrong, think of what we could have done right, and consider what we can do better in the coming year.
Although, extreme weather, like tornadoes, hurricanes, scorching heat, bitter cold, drought and floods are not elements we are able to control, a new year is still a good time to reflect on what happened and how we can better prepare ourselves for future occurrences.
South Louisiana saw a rocky road when it came to weather in 2012. After looking over more than 20 weather events that impacted our area, these 12 extremes stuck out.
Here are the Top 12 of 2012: South Louisiana Weather Events (in chronological order):
1. I-49 closed due to advancing flood water...
On March 12, heavy rains caused Louisiana State Police to shut down parts of I-49 in Carencro, north of Lafayette, due to rising flood waters. Multiple homes and businesses were flooded.
Many of you sent in photos that we shared on our website at http://www.nbc33tv.com/flooding-in-carencro. 
2. Springtime tornadoes...
On March 21, severe weather ripped through Louisiana. An EF-2 tornado left a three mile path through parts of Prairieville. Duplesses Road was one of the hardest hit spots. Also, an EF-1 tornado hit Walker around 10:00 a.m. leaving a destruction path about a half a mile long.
Here are more pictures sent in by you from the day's weather events... http://www.nbc33tv.com/statewide-storm-damage-03-21-12 
3. House fire caused by lightning in Baton Rouge...
On May 31, A small fire resulted from a lightning strike at a home in the 5800 block of Fort Sumpter. Fire trucks arrived on the scene to see smoke coming from the roof. They found that the lightning had started a fire in the attic, and quickly put it out. There were no injuries. The fire caused minimal damage.
Here are more pictures submitted by one of our viewers...http://www.nbc33tv.com/severe-weather-05-31-12 
4. Tropical Storm Debbie...
On June 23-26, Debbie was the storm that put Louisiana on their toes for Hurricane Season 2012. The storm developed on June 23 in the Gulf of Mexico and prompted the National Hurricane Center to issue Tropical Storm Warnings from the Florida Panhandle to Morgan City. The Grand Isle Police Department placed evacuation orders for residents of the area until Tropical Storm Debby moved onshore three days later. Tropical Storm Debbie was responsible for dumping 10-20+ inches of rainfall, spawning 25 tornadoes, killing nine people, and causing over $308 million in damages to Florida and Alabama.
Here was a story we post from CNN as Debby moved on land...http://www.nbc33tv.com/weather/weather-news/debby-forecast-to-soak-florida-as-it-crosses-state 
5. Summer heat advisories...
At the end of July/beginning of August, South Louisiana saw multiple days of extreme heat. Temperatures topped out around 100 degrees with heat indices above 105-110 degrees each afternoon. The National Weather Service issued Heat Advisories for the area and Emergency Managers report an elevated number of 911 calls about heat related illnesses.
Here's a story we post on July 30th... http://www.nbc33tv.com/weather/weather-news/ems-responds-to-high-number-of-heat-calls-heat-advisory-issued-for-monday 
6. Heavy rain, lightning strikes, cause flooding, power outages in BR area...
On August 5, a summer storm brought relief from the sweltering heat, but also caused flash flooding and power outages to the Baton Rouge area. Over 1600 customers lost their power and radar picked up more than 900 lightning strikes in 30 minutes. Several cars became stranded while attempting to pass through high water on Bluebonnet Blvd and good Samaritans lent their pushing abilities for motorists.
Here are a few more pictures sent in by an NBC33 viewer... http://www.nbc33tv.com/flooding-around-baton-rouge-on-sunday-aug-5 
7. Severe weather claims life of driver due to fallen tree limb...
On August 18, a 66 year old man, driving his truck down College Drive, was struck by a falling tree limb and died. Severe weather was to blame for the falling limb as 2-3 inches of rain fell on the area within a 24-hour period.
Here is the story we post on NBC33 the day of the incident...http://www.nbc33tv.com/weather/weather-news/severe-weather-claims-life-of-driver-due-to-fallen-tree-limb 
8. Hurricane Isaac...
At the end of August, Hurricane Isaac focused its strength on the northern Gulf Coast. The storm made its first landfall in southeastern Louisiana during the evening of August 28th and the slow-moving system made its second landfall during the morning of the seventh anniversary to Hurricane Katrina, August 29th. Isaac was responsible for claiming nine lives in the U.S. and leaving thousands of people without power for days. In Plaquemines Parish, levees were over-topped and up to 12 feet of water filled the communities of Braithwaite to Whiteditch. It was the fourth hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
A day after Isaac hit on August 30th, residents in Tangipahoa Parish were warned to evacuate immediately following reports that the dam at Lake Tangipahoa at Percy Quinn State Park had failed. Later assessments noted that the dam was just damaged during Hurricane Isaac and could be repaired.
Here was a press conference Gov. Jindal held during the dam failure scare... http://www.nbc33tv.com/weather/weather-news/jindal-evacuate-now-if-youre-near-tangipahoa-river 
9. Louisiana State Troopers deal with winter storm conditions after Hurricane Sandy recovery...
At the end of October, Hurricane Sandy made headlines as it bared down on the East Coast. On November 4th, a group of 25 Louisiana State Police troopers were sent to help one of the harder hit areas in New Jersey, the Stafford Township and Long Beach Island (Ocean County). While there, restoration efforts were complicated by a snow storm that left 3-5 inches on hurricane damaged property. The troopers said it was odd to see snow falling after a hurricane.
Here are more photos of the snow covered state police units...http://www.nbc33tv.com/louisiana-state-police-as 
10. Baker and Ascension Parish tornadoes...
On December 10, two EF1 tornadoes down in the area. One occurred in Baker and the other in Ascension Parish. The 7th District Fire Station in on Hwy 44 suffered major damage to its front wall. In East Baton Rouge Parish, the tornado struck a car wash located along Hwy. 19. Luckily, no one was hurt in either tornado.
Here are pictures we post on our website of the damage in EBR and Ascension parishes...http://www.nbc33tv.com/severe-weather-damage-mon 
11. Faith Academy hit by severe weather a second time...
On December 20, Faith Academy in Gonzales was badly damaged by strong winds. It was the second time in four months that they had to pick up the pieces of their school due to strong winds. Sixty mile per hour winds were blamed for ripped part their roof off on the morning of December 20th. The school had just begun rebuilding after Hurricane Isaac brought water and structural damage to the inside of the school.
Here was the story reporter Brix Fowler wrote http://www.nbc33tv.com/weather/weather-news/strong-winds-damage-faith 
12. Christmas Day severe weather...
On December 24-25, a series of fronts brought severe weather to Louisiana and the Deep South. A total of 54 tornadoes were reported in the Gulf States, which set a new record for the most-active severe weather on Christmas Day. The strongest tornado that National Weather Service in Slidell assessed was in Pearl River County, Mississippi. The EF-3 twister destroyed 22 homes, injured eight people and left a path about 61 miles long through five Mississippi counties. Our website traffic for our interactive radar nearly doubled in one day due to the strong storms.
Bookmark www.nbc33tv.com/weather/interactive-radar  for the next time we see rainfall in our area.
Here's to hoping Louisiana's 2013 weather will not be as volatile as in 2012! Happy New Year!