Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Four hurricane names retired following 2017 devastation

Four hurricane names retired following 2017 devastation

When a storm name is retired from the Atlantic's list of names, member countries of the meteorological organization from that region select a new name.

Names are reused on a six-year cycle until a name is retired if it turns deadly or costly.

The World Meteorological Organisation committee has officially confirmed the addition of four new names to its Atlantic tropical storm list: Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel. These will be included on the 2023 list of storm names.

Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida in September as a Category 4 storm.

Irma and Maria, both Category 5s, and Nate, a Category 1, are blamed for a combined $167 billion in damage to Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and along the Gulf Coast.

The four storms above certainly meet that criteria as they all were killers. Some estimates place Harvey ahead of Hurricane Katrina in damages - about $180 billion.

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Maria quickly intensified into a hurricane just 24 hours after it became a tropical storm and intensified into a category 5 hurricane. If a hurricane is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by a different name. In the US, seven deaths as a result of were reported, and 85 indirect deaths as a result of debris.

In all, 86 hurricane names have now been retired.

The last names dropped from the list were 2016 storms: Matthew and Otto.

It made another landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4, becoming the strongest storm to hit the island since 1928.

It struck the Caribbean island of Dominica at Category 5 intensity and caused catastrophic damage. Maria caused 31 direct deaths with 34 missing in Dominica, and two direct deaths in Guadeloupe.

Four retired hurricane names in one season is remarkable, but not a record. Nate's rainfall inundated Central America and killed 45.

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