Names of destructive 2017 storms retired

In an expected press release Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration relayed Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate from the collection of possible names of future storms in the Atlantic Basin. Those names will first appear in the 2023 list of storm names.

The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, a measure that takes into account both the strength and duration of the season's tropical storms and hurricanes, was about 241% of the long-term average and the seventh highest in the Atlantic historical record back to 1851, according to the RSMC Miami report.

"Sara" will debut on the list of storm names this year, having replaced Sandy, which was retired after the notable 2012 superstorm that pummeled New Jersey and NY.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday the names of four hurricanes that caused significant damage and killed dozens previous year will be retired. There are six lists that are re-used every six years.

Including the latest additions there have been 86 names struck from the Atlantic storm list since storms began getting names in 1954, according to the hurricane center. A new one must be chosen if a name is "retired" - that is, if a storm is so destructive or deadly that it would be insensitive to continue to use the name.

The four intense storms caused more than $200 billion in damages.

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The season as a whole caused hundreds of billions of dollars in estimated damages.

- 68 direct deaths in Texas, most caused by a storm in the state since 1919.

Irma - a Category 5 storm, the strongest designation, wrecked havoc on Caribbean islands; Barbuda was nearly completely destroyed. On Oct. 8, the hurricane made landfall as a Category 1.

Hurricane Irma was a category 5 storm that made landfall at seven locations along the Carribbean and Florida. In the USA, seven direct deaths were reported, and an additional 85 indirect deaths occurred, 80 of which were in Florida. Irma contributed to 129 deaths, while Maria killed 31 people in Dominica and 65 in Puerto Rico. It is the second-costliest hurricane in USA history, trailing only Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005. The governor of Puerto Rico ordered a recount of the death toll in mid-December.

While 2017's season proved to be devastating, forecasts from Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project expect that the 2018 season will only be slightly less disastrous as the group have stated a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major ones are likely to occur. An additional fatality in Panama was due to a "shipwreck", bringing the death toll directly associated with Nate to 45. At least nine other people are missing in the region.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.

  • Sonia Alvarado