After Deadly Storms, Agency Retires 4 Hurricane Names

Is your name on the new hurricane list?

Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate officially retired from rotating list of hurricane names

Hurricanes season runs from June 1 to November 30. Harvey cost about $125 billion, the second costliest hurricane in US history - right behind Katrina. Although final costs may not be known for years, estimates suggest the tab will run beyond $200 billion.

Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate have been retired as hurricane names, marking a dubious honour for the 2017 storms that were among the worst ever to lash the Caribbean and United States, the U.S. oceanic agency said on Thursday.

According to Sean Breslin, editor of, Harvey was used as a storm name six times, starting in 1981. The new names will make their debut during the 2023 hurricane season. The organization says it retires names for hurricanes when "a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity". Katrina, Sandy and Isabel have been retired, too.

Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate were directly responsible for the deaths of at least 255 people and caused billions of dollars in damage, NOAA said.

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The WMO's Region IV Hurricane Committee selected Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel to replace Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate respectively.

Irma - a Category 5 storm, the strongest designation, wrecked havoc on Caribbean islands; Barbuda was nearly completely destroyed.

Experts are already predicting a busier than normal hurricane season.

Four of last season's hurricanes were deemed so destructive and deadly that the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization has made a decision to retire their names. It made landfall in south-west Florida at category 4 intensity, prompting the evacuation of about 6 million residents and causing severe flooding. It caused 44 direct deaths as a result of wind, rain and heavy surf. Maria killed 31 in Dominica and 65 in Puerto Rico. Power was lost to the entire island, and was only been restored to just over half the population three months after the hurricane, whilst water supplies and communications were also severely affected. If more than 21 storms form in one season, like in 2005, the Greek alphabet is used to name the additional storms. Nate's rainfall inundated Central America and killed 45. The 2005 season still holds the top spot with five retirees (Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, and Wilma).

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