Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria & Nate were so destructive their - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria & Nate were so destructive their names are getting retired

Hurricane Maria as a Category 5 storm. It made landfall on Puerto Rico as a Category 4. (Source: NOAA) Hurricane Maria as a Category 5 storm. It made landfall on Puerto Rico as a Category 4. (Source: NOAA)

(RNN) – Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate were such destructive hurricanes in 2017, the World Meteorological Organization is retiring their names.

Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel will replace those four on the list. The WMO has a rotating list of names for each Tropical Cyclone basin, such as the Atlantic or Eastern North Pacific.

Although this past year was destructive, the 2005 Hurricane Season retired the most names – Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma.

Damage from Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate in the U.S. alone was more than $250 billion, several hundred people died, and islands in the Caribbean are still recovering. With 17 named storms, the 2017 season was the fifth-most active since record keeping began in 1851.

Colorado State University predicted that the 2018 season will be busy with 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. A major hurricane is a Category 3 or above with winds of at least 111 mph.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm in late August and dropped more than 60 inches of rain over Texas. Houston bore the brunt of the storm. Harvey cost about $125 billion, the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history – right behind Katrina.

Irma – a Category 5 storm, the strongest designation, wrecked havoc on Caribbean islands; Barbuda was almost completely destroyed. Irma came ashore in southwest Florida as a Category 4 hurricane. In the U.S., seven deaths as a result of were reported, and 85 indirect deaths as a result of debris.

Maria went from tropical storm to Category 5 hurricane in jaw-dropping 24 hours. When it hit Puerto Rico, it was still a Category 4, and the strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory since 1928.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association estimates that the damage caused by Maria places it at No. 3 – right behind Harvey and Katrina. The death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico is 65, but because the island still lacks power, the number of indirect deaths is hard to calculate.

As of March 20, more than 120,000 people in Puerto Rico didn’t have power, causing health and environmental crisis. Many people can’t keep food or medications cool as the temperatures rise.

Hurricane Nate didn’t make landfall in the U.S. but slammed into Nicaragua and Panama as a Category 1, causing 44 deaths.

The WMO’s Hurricane Committee, which is meeting in France to review how bad last year’s season was, retires name if a storm is extremely deadly or costly. The committee also is planning how to better prepare for this coming season.

This year’s hurricane names are:

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Florence
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce
  • Kirk
  • Leslie
  • Michael
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tony
  • Valerie
  • William

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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