Did you know that hurricane names could be retired? See the list of hurricane names that have been retired since the 1950s and find out why hurricane names get retired.
Why Are Hurricane Names Retired?
Atlantic tropical cyclone name lists repeat every six years unless a storm is so severe that the World Meteorological Organization’s 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
As of this writing, 96 names have now been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storms began to be named. Of course, there were a great number of storms further back in history which occured, but the hurricane naming system was not established until 1950.
|1955||Connie, Diane, Ione, Janet|
|1964||Cleo, Dora, Hilda|
|1995||Luis, Marilyn, Opal, Roxanne|
|1996||Cesar, Fran, Hortense|
|2001||Allison, Iris, Michelle|
|2003||Fabian, Isabel, Juan|
|2004||Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne|
|2005||Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, Wilma|
|2007||Dean, Felix, Noel|
|2008||Gustav, Ike, Paloma|
|2017||Harvey, Irma, Maria, Nate|
|2020||Laura, Eta, Iota|
Recently Retired Names
Usually, storm names from the most recent hurricane season are officially retired at the spring meeting of the World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee. As mentioned above, hurricane names are retired from the rotating lists because of the level of death and destruction that they cause.
Ian was large and powerful category 4 hurricane that struck western Cuba as a major hurricane and made landfall in southwestern Florida as a category 4 hurricane. Ian caused a devastating storm surge in southwestern Florida and is responsible for over 150 direct and indirect deaths and over US$112 billion in damage in the United States, making it the costliest hurricane in Florida’s history and the third costliest in the United States. Idrish will be used to replace Ian in the lists of names.
Fiona is the costliest extreme weather event on record in Atlantic Canada. This storm was unusual in that it brought devastating freshwater flooding to Puerto Rico where it made landfall as a category 1 hurricane. Then it struck Canada as a strong post-tropical cyclone in September 2022, bringing significant damage and loss of life along its path. The storm produced over $3 billion (U.S. dollars) in damage across the Caribbean and Canada and was responsible for 29 direct and indirect fatalities. Farrah will be used to replace Fiona in the lists of names.
Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on August 29, 2021, as a Category 4 with winds of 150 mph. (A storm becomes a Category 5 at 157 mph.) Then this powerful storm churned inland, moving northeastward towards the mid-Atlantic. As the system acquired gale-force winds over the Atlantic east of the center, the storm crossed into the New England states. Ida was responsible for 55 deaths, either directly due to hurricane winds or indirectly due to flooding; the latter happened primarily in the Northeast. Coincidentally, August 29 was also the date that Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana and Mississippi back in 2006. Imani will replace Ida on the the rotating list of storm names.
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).