Retired Atlantic Hurricane Names

Costly, Deadly, and Destructive Storms

April 6, 2020
Hurricane

Hurricane Isabel, 2003.

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Did you know that hurricane names could be retired? Find out why some names are no longer used for Atlantic storms and see the list of hurricane names that have been retired since the 1950s.

Why Are Hurricane Names Retired?

Atlantic tropical cyclone name lists repeat every six years unless a storm is so severe that the Hurricane Committee votes to retire that name from future lists. Here is the list of names for the current hurricane season.

Storm names are retired if they were so deadly or destructive that the future use of the name would be insensitive. (When a name is retired, it’s replaced by a new name.)

Any country may request that the name of a hurricane be “retired,” which must then be considered and agreed upon by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Current List of Retired Atlantic Hurricane Names

Below is the list of Atlantic Ocean retired names and the year the hurricane(s) occurred.

Through the 2018 hurricane season, 88 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storms began to be named.

Years Names
1954 Carol, Hazel
1955 Connie, Diane, Ione, Janet
1956  
1957 Audrey
1958  
1959  
1960 Donna
1961 Carla, Hattie
1962  
1963 Flora
1964 Cleo, Dora, Hilda
1965 Betsy
1966 Inez
1967 Beulah
1968 Edna
1969 Camille
1970 Celia
1971  
1972 Agnes
1973  
1974 Carmen, Fifi
1975 Eloise
1976  
1977 Anita
1978  
1979 David, Frederic
1980 Allen
1981  
1982  
1983 Alicia
1984  
1985 Elena, Gloria
1986  
1987  
1988 Gilbert, Joan
1989 Hugo
1990 Diana, Klaus
1991 Bob
1992 Andrew
1993  
1994  
1995 Luis, Marilyn, Opal, Roxanne
1996 Cesar, Fran, Hortense
1997  
1998 Georges, Mitch
1999 Floyd, Lenny
2000 Keith
2001 Allison, Iris, Michelle
2002 Isidore, Lili
2003 Fabian, Isabel, Juan
2004 Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne
2005 Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, Wilma
2006  
2007 Dean, Felix, Noel
2008 Gustav, Ike, Paloma
2009  
2010 Igor, Tomas
2011 Irene
2012 Sandy
2013 Ingrid
2014  
2015 Erika, Joaquin
2016 Matthew, Otto
2017 Harvey, Irma, Maria, Nate
2018 Florence, Michael

This table was last updated in April 2020. Source: NOAA

Note: Because of COVID-19, the World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee will not address 2019 storm name retirements until the spring 2021 meeting, which will consider the potential retirement of any 2019 and 2020 hurricane names.

2018 Retired Names

Both Florence and Michael were retired by the World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee, after causing extensive fatalities and damage from Florida north to Virginia during the 2018 season. 

These names will be replaced by Francine and Milton, respectively, and will first appear in the 2024 list of storm names.

According to the WMO:

  • Hurricane Florence, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the Carolinas, made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 14 and moved slowly inland with heavy rain, storm surge, and record flooding. It caused at least 51 deaths and produced extensive flooding across much of the Carolinas and Virginia.
  • Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 10, with sustained winds of 155 mph. This was the third most intense hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. based on central pressure, and the fourth most intense based on wind speed. It was also the most intense hurricane on record to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle, where it caused widespread devastation and farther inland across Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. There were at least 45 fatalities blamed on the storm in the United States.

Hurricane Florence and Michael were two  of fourteen “billion dollar disasters” in 2018 in the US. Between them, they caused around US$49 billion in damages and over 100 deaths. 

Did You Know?

  • Around 39% of hurricanes that hit the United States strike the state of Florida.
  • Two-thirds of the strongest hurricanes (Class 4 or 5) make landfall on either the Florida or Texas coast. 
  • As shown in the chart above, the 2005 hurricane season has the most retired names–five–for one season.

Learn More About Hurricanes

Find out the forecast for this year’s hurricane season

Read about the Worst Hurricanes in U.S. History (a three-part series).

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Reader Comments

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Hurricane names

Did not expect it but the comments on farmers almanac articles are the funniest shit that I have run across in a long time. Lease keep them coming!

Hurricane names

Would a Greek name ever be retired?

Hurricane names

I have more of a question. So the names are alpha order off a list every 6 years what happens when one letter from all 6 list have been retired, how to you choose new names to replace that letter?

New Hurricane Names

The Editors's picture

That’s a question for the World Meteorological Organization! We’re not sure how they initially pick new storm names, but presumably, the committee chooses names with the intent of representing diversity and many cultures. 

New hurricane names

James,May or Felicia ( pronounced in Latin version)

Names that should be added

You need to add Harvey, Irma and Maria

Hurricane names

What would usually happen if all of the names on the list of hurricane names are used?

hurricane names

The Editors's picture

Interesting question! The hurricane list of names starts over every season, but if they run out of names in a single season, the Greek alphabet is used (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon … )

Hurricane Names

If all the names on the Hurricane list are used?
They add a new name , for example my:
Hurricane Elaine.
But I promise I will pray to be a category 1.
Best Regards,
Elaine

hurricane Jaylen

can you name a hurricane named hurricane jaylen pleaesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Hurricane Names

I really don't understand why they go through all of this drama with the names. They should just number the storms and let it go at that.

retired names

Donna is repeated this year

Atlantic Storm Names

Do you ever change out all of the names. Adding 6 new list after 6 years. I'm 63, and remember so many of the retired Huricane names and their landfalls. Elouise and Opal are two that hit Panama City Beach, and Panama City hard 20 years apart.
Living on the Northern Gulf Coast, Tropical Systems are ALWAYS watched closely by People here, from the time they are first talked about off the African Coast. Storm paths, wind speeds, barometric pressure numbers, a big focus I remember from all of my June to November Hurricane seasons. My 94 year old Mother, Ruby, always tracked each storm of each season on storm maps, once they started including them in our Newspapers each season. She says they used to be called September Storms, Oct. & Nov. Storms when she was young and remembers some bad ones in late '20s, '30s, and 40s.
Through the years, I don't remember ever hearing of a Hurricane Nancie/Nancy. Has there been a Nancy storm that I just missed hearing about? If not, will Nancie ever be considered? Living on the NW Florida Gulf Coast all of my life, it's Just something I've wondered about many times. Thanks in Advance, for any answers you can give me.. Nancie Norton..
Panama City/Bay County, Florida

Naming Storms

How do names get added/changed? Only once one of the usual is retired? How about "Lavera"?

The World Meteorological

The Editors's picture

The World Meteorological Organization selects the names. There is a set list of male and female names which are used on a six-year rotation. They only retire a name when the hurricane was especially deadly.

Names

When will Roman be used ???

And in 2015, Patricia.

And in 2015, Patricia.

Wondering if Andrew in 1992;

Wondering if Andrew in 1992; was a retired storm name

Yes, Andrew (1992) is a

The Editors's picture

Yes, Andrew (1992) is a retired name. 

Was the name name Jane

Was the name name Jane Maggie or Mary ever named as a storm at any time IRENE is my middle name and it made the list .

U see its on the list......

U see its on the list......

Keith Jay

Keith Jay