Irene is the latest hurricane name to be retired
Irene has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organizations (WMO) hurricane committee because of the fatalities and damage it caused in August, 2011 and will be replaced by Irma.
Storm names are reused every six years for both the Atlantic Basin and eastern North Pacific Basin, unless retired for causing a considerable amount of casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.
Fabian, which struck Bermuda in 2003, has also been retired.
Irene became a hurricane on August 22 and intensified to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale on August 24 while centred between Mayaguana and Grand Inagua in the Bahamas. It gradually weakened after crossing the Bahamas, making landfall in North Carolina on August 27 as a Category 1 hurricane. Irene made another landfall the next day as a tropical storm very near Atlantic City, New Jersey. The centre moved over Coney Island and Manhattan, New York, the same day.
Irene caused widespread damage across a large portion of the eastern United States as it moved north-northeastward, bringing significant effects from the mid-Atlantic through New England. The most severe impact of Irene was catastrophic inland flooding in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont.
Irene was directly responsible for 48 deaths: five in the Dominican Republic, three in Haiti, and 40 in the United States. For the United States, six deaths are attributed to storm surge/waves or rip currents,13 to wind, including falling trees, and 21 to rainfall-induced floods. Including flood losses, damage in the United States is estimated to be $15.8 billion.
Hurricanes that have a severe impact on lives or the economy are remembered generations after the devastation they caused, and some go into weather history. The National Hurricane Center near Miami, Florida, monitors tropical disturbances in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans which could become a hurricane.
Whenever a hurricane has had a major impact, any country affected by the storm can request that the name of the hurricane be retired by agreement of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Retiring a name actually means that it cannot be reused for at least 10 years, to facilitate historic references, legal actions, insurance claim activities, etc. and avoid public confusion with another storm of the same name. If that happens, a like gender name is selected in English, Spanish or French for Atlantic Storms.
There is an exception to the retirement rule, however. Before 1979, when the first permanent six-year storm name list began, some storm names were simply not used anymore. For example, in 1966, Fern was substituted for Frieda, and no reason was cited.
Below is a list of Atlantic Ocean retired names, the years the hurricanes occurred, and the areas they affected. There are, however, a great number of destructive storms not included on this list because they occurred before the hurricane naming convention was established in 1950.
Atlantic Storms Retired Into Hurricane History
Agnes (1972): Florida, Northeast US
Alicia (1983): North Texas
Allen (1980): Antilles, Mexico, South Texas
Allison (2001): northeast Texas
Andrew (1992): Bahamas, South Florida, Louisiana
Anita (1977): Mexico
Audrey (1957): Louisiana, North Texas
Betsy (1965): Bahamas, Southeast Florida, Southeast Louisiana
Beulah (1967): Antilles, Mexico, South Texas
Bob (1991): North Carolina & Northeast U.S.
Camille (1969): Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
Carla (1961): Texas
Carmen (1974): Mexico, Central Louisiana
Carol (1954): Northeast US
Cesar (1996): Honduras
Celia (1970): South Texas
Charley (2004): Jamaica, western Cuba, Florida
Cleo (1964): Lesser Antilles, Haiti, Cuba, Southeast Florida
Connie (1955): North Carolina
David (1979): Lesser Antilles, Hispañola, Florida and Eastern US
Dennis (2005): Alabama, Florida
Diana (1990): Mexico
Diane (1955): Mid-Atlantic US & Northeast US
Donna (1960): Bahamas, Florida and Eastern US
Dora (1964): Northeast Florida
Elena (1985): Mississippi, Alabama, Western Florida
Eloise (1975): Antilles, Northwest Florida, Alabama
Fabian (2003): Bermuda
Fifi (1974): Yucatan Peninsula, Louisiana
Flora (1963): Haiti, Cuba
Floyd (1999): North Carolina, eastern seaboard
Fran (1996): North Carolina
Frances (2004): Florida
Frederic (1979): Alabama and Mississippi
Georges (1998): Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Mississippi
Gilbert (1988): Lesser Antilles, Jamaica, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Gloria (1985): North Carolina, Northeast US
Hattie (1961): Belize, Guatemala
Hazel (1954): Antilles, North and South Carolina
Hilda (1964): Louisiana
Hugo (1989): Antilles, South Carolina
Inez (1966): Lesser Antilles, Hispanola, Cuba, Florida Keys, Mexico
Ione (1955): North Carolina
Iris (2001): Belize, Guatemala
Isabel (2003): North Carolina
Isidore (2002): Cuba, northern Yucatan Peninsula, Louisiana
Ivan (2004): Lesser Antilles, Jamaica, western Cuba, Alabama, western Florida panhandle
Janet (1955): Lesser Antilles, Belize, Mexico
Jeanne (2004): Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, northern Bahamas, Florida
Joan (1988): Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua (Crossed into the Pacific and became Miriam)
Juan (2003): Nova Scotia
Katrina (2005): South Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
Keith (2000): Belize, Mexico
Klaus (1990): Martinique
Lenny (1999): Antilles
Lili (2002): Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Louisiana
Marilyn (1995): Bermuda
Michelle (2001): Central America, Cuba, northern Bahamas
Mitch (1998): Central America, Nicaragua, Honduras
Opal (1995): Florida Panhandle
Rita (2005): northeast Texas, western Louisiana
Roxanne (1995): Yucatan Peninsula
Stan (2005): Mexico
Wilma (2005): northeast Yucatan Peninsula, Florida
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