Is your name on the new hurricane list?

Nellie Chapman
April 13, 2018

They do that, the World Meteorological Organization says, when the committee judges that "a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity".

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration retired four hurricane names from the 2017 hurricane season.

Since 1979, the WMO has been using a six-year name rotation. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the WMO Tropical Cyclone Committees (called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.

Unless a name is retired, the exact same list of names is used again six years later.

Hurricane season 2018 was a devastating year, with many places in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands still struggling to recover.

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Hurricane Harvey is the second costliest hurricane after Hurricane Katrina (2005).

Hurricane Irma was a long-lived hurricane that reached category 5 intensity on September 5. At least 68 people died from the direct effects of the storm in Texas, the largest number in that state since 1919.

Nate made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane at the mouth of the Mississippi River on October 8, packing winds near 85 miles per hour. Within a given hurricane season, male and female names alternate; the following year, the gender ordering is staggered (for example, Ana and Bill one year, Alex and Bonnie the next, etc.).

In 1953, the U.S. began using female names for hurricanes and, by 1979, both male and female names were used. Irma and Maria both reached Category 5 storms when they made landfall on the Caribbean islands. Irma made landfall as a category 4 hurricane in the Florida Keys on September 10 and struck southwestern Florida as a category 3 the same day. In the USA, seven direct deaths were reported, and an additional 85 indirect deaths occurred, 80 of which were in Florida. The death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico is 65, but because the island still lacks power, the number of indirect deaths is hard to calculate. Nate, meanwhile, was responsible for 45 deaths after crossing Central America.

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