2018 Hurricane Names and 3 Names That Aren’t Coming Back
Four hurricane names are being retired after a particularly hard-hitting 2017 season, a tradition designed to remove names of the more severe storms that wreaked havoc on people and property.
Hurricane Season 2018 starts on June 1 and continues through November 30, and the list of hurricane names that will be used this year are part of a rotating list that repeats, for the most part, every six years.
There are exceptions, primarily because names are occasionally retired. From 2017, the names Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate are all being taken out of the rotation, meaning we’ll never again have hurricanes with those names. It’s worth noting that there are separate lists of names for the Atlantic and Pacific storms, and these four names are being removed from the list of Atlantic storm names. That means that Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate join the ranks of other retired monster storm names like Camille, Hazel, Hugo, Irene, Katrina and Matthew.
When 2017’s list next rolls around again — during Hurricane Season 2023 — Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel will replace the retired names. The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee is the organization that makes such decisions.
The WMO says 2017 hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record. Harvey, Irma and Maria were all Category 4 strength when they made landfall, and while Nate was a Category 1 storm when it made landfall in South America, it was blamed for a total of 45 deaths by itself. Hurricane experts blamed Harvey 68 deaths. Irma killed 44 people. But the WMO called Maria the most deadly of the year with 112 fatalities attributed to it.
There’s a new name in the 2018 list.
Six years ago, the committee retired a name from the list that will be used in 2018. That means Sandy, the 18th named storm that season, is also out. The updated list for 2018 will feature a new name in the 18th position:
If we run through all 21 names, storms will then be named with letters from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu, Xi, Omicron, Pi, Rho, Sigma, Tau, Upsilon, Phi, Chi, Psi, and Omega. We have gone into Greek letters in the past — just a few years ago, in fact. If we ever we to go through the Greek alphabet and still have more storms on the way, I think that’s a good sign to just pack up and head for Kansas.
In addition to the hundreds of deaths, the 2017 hurricane season caused more than $250 billion in damage.
I don’t know about you, but I think we’re due for a break. Maybe the storms predicted for this year’s season will just stay out in the middle of the Atlantic where they can cool the ocean’s waters without doing any more damage!