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Hurricane names Harvey, Irma and Maria officially 'retired'

14 April, 2018, 20:15 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Irma among 2017's retired storm names

The names were retired in remembrance of the many victims of the storms.

With the four new retirees, there have been 86 names pulled from the Atlantic list since 1953, when storms began to be named.

The World Meteorological Organization's Hurricane Committee determined Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate would be retired from the committee's list of rotating names.

The flooding from Hurricane Harvey was nothing short of catastrophic in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana because the large storm stalled for days in late August. "Irma caused 44 direct deaths as a result of its strong winds, heavy rain and high surf", according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hurricane Maria was a category 5 storm when it hit the Caribbean island of Dominica. 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. It's the second-costliest hurricane in USA history, behind Katrina.

Hurricane Irma, which peaked as a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall seven times and hit islands in the northern Caribbean and Florida in early September.




Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate will join the list of exceptional hurricane names.

On Thursday, a committee of the World Meteorological Organization made a decision to replace those names with Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel when the list is recycled in 2023. Maria caused 31 direct deaths with 34 missing in Dominica, and two direct deaths in Guadeloupe.

Hurricane Nate hit Central America and the Gulf Coast of the US, eventually becoming a Category 1 hurricane. Nate's rainfall inundated Central America and killed 45.

It's too early to know exactly what will transpire during the hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30, but a handful of outlooks released this spring predict more than the average number of storms.

The 2005 season set the record with five hurricane names retired: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma. An additional nine people were missing in the region.

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