Updated: March 18, 2021 7:59:09 pm
The Hurricane Committee has retired the names Dorian, Laura, Eta and Iota from the rotating lists of Atlantic tropical cyclone names because of the death and destruction they caused, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said in a statement on Wednesday.
Hurricanes Dorian, Laura, Eta and Iota, which formed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2019 and 2020, killed more than 300 people and rendered 29,500 people in the region homeless.
The WMO’s Hurricane Committee made this announcement during its recently held 2020 review meet held virtually from March 15 to 17.
The committee, which serves North and Central America and the Carribean region, also decided that future storms in the region will not be given Greek names, as they were found to attract unnecessary attention, create confusion when translated into regional languages and had similarity in pronounciation — all of which severely hampered in the communication and planning of mitigation measures.
Since 1953, the WMO has retired 93 hurricane names formed in the Atlantic basin. The names Dorian and Laura will be replaced by Dexter and Leah in 2025 and 2026, respectively, the WMO stated.
Last year, 30 hurricanes developed in the Atlantic Ocean, a record of sorts, as normally the Atlantic Ocean experiences just 12 storms annually.
This list comprises male and female names used in an alternate fashion to name storms formed between June and November. It contains names starting with 21 English alphabets, excluding those with Q, U, X, Y and Z, as names with these alphabets are rare.
In 2020, the committee exhausted all the names from its hurricane list, only the second occasion since 2015, by September. To name all later formed storms, nine Greek names — Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta and Iota were used last year.
With Greek alphabets now out of the list, the WMO has come up with a supplemental list of names to be used when the main rotating list expires. The list contains names for both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
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