The names of four deadly hurricanes that slammed parts of the United States, Central America and the Caribbean a year ago are being retired.
You won't be seeing Harvey, Irma, Maria or Nate as names for hurricanes or tropical storms anytime soon. However, if a storm gains notoriety because of its strength, number of deaths or damage, the WMO may retire that name from future use.
With these four additions, a total of 86 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953. In 2005, five storm names, including Katrina, were retired - the most for a single season.
Harvey hit Texas Aug. 25, killing at least 68 people.
The removal also avoids confusion caused by a future storm having the same name.
Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Dominica as a category 5 on September 19, and later devastated Puerto Rico as a high-end category 4 hurricane.
Hurricane Nate crossed Nicaragua and Honduras as a tropical storm and made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the U.S.as a category 1 hurricane. Their replacements were added to the 2023 season list. Nate will be replaced by Nigel.
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Irma - a Category 5 storm, the strongest designation, wrecked havoc on Caribbean islands; Barbuda was nearly completely destroyed.
Hurricane Maria also became a monster Category 5 hurricane - just 24 hours after becoming a tropical storm.
The idea of permanently retiring names began after the 1954 hurricane season when Carol, Edna and Hazel ravaged the East Coast.
Maria was blamed for 31 direct deaths in Dominica (with 34 missing), two deaths in Guadeloupe and 65 in Puerto Rico, according to the WMO. It brought rainfall that caused significant impacts in Central America, where media reports indicate that these caused 44 deaths in the region.
Maria caused an estimated $90 billion in damage in the USA, according to the hurricane center, making it the third-costliest US storm on record behind Katrina and Harvey.
The four names retired in 2017 ties 1995 and 1955 as the second greatest retirement year on record.