Hurricane Committee Retires Four 2017 Destructive Storm Names
The World Meteorological Organizations (WMO) hurricane committee has officially retired four destructive storm names from last year.
Hurricane names Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate will join a list of 82 other retired deadly or destructive storm names.
WMO provided a summary of the storms:
Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall as a category 4 hurricane, remained over or near the Texas coast for four days in late August, dropping historic amounts of rainfall of more than 60 inches over southeastern Texas and causing catastrophic flooding in major cities including Houston. Harvey cost an estimated 125 billion dollars, the second-most costly hurricane in U.S. history, behind only Katrina (2005). At least 68 people died from the direct effects of the storm in Texas, the largest number of direct deaths from a tropical cyclone in that state since 1919.
Hurricane Irma remained at category 5 strength for 60 hours in early September on a trail of destruction through numerous Caribbean islands. Barbuda experienced near-total destruction, and there was severe damage to Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, Anguilla, St Kitts and Nevis, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Virgin Islands and the southern Bahamas. Irma went on to track along the north coast of Cuba and was was the first category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Cuba since 1932, causing serious damage. It made landfall in south-west Florida at category 4 intensity, prompting the evacuation of about 6 million residents and causing severe flooding. In the U.S., seven direct deaths were reported, and an additional 85 indirect deaths occurred, 80 of which were in Florida. Hundreds more were injured preparing for the storm, during it or in its aftermath.
Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Dominica as a category 5 on Sept. 19, and later devastated Puerto Rico as a high-end category 4 hurricane. It also inflicted serious damage on some of the other islands of the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Maria is the third costliest hurricane in U.S. history, behind Harvey and Katrina. Maria caused 31 direct deaths with 34 missing in Dominica, and two direct deaths in Guadeloupe. In Puerto Rico, the death toll stands at 65, which includes an unknown number of indirect deaths.
Hurricane Nate crossed northeastern Nicaragua and eastern Honduras as a tropical storm, then made landfall on the northern Gulf Coast as a category 1 hurricane. It brought rainfall that caused significant impacts in Central America, where media reports indicate that these caused 44 deaths in the region. An additional fatality in Panama was due to a "shipwreck," bringing the death toll directly associated with Nate to 45. An additional nine people were missing in the region.
The 2005 season holds the record for the most names retired due to the devastation they caused. Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma were the names retired that year.