No more hurricanes named Fiona or Ian

Fiona and Ian have been removed from the Atlantic hurricane list because of the death and destruction caused by these two storms in 2022.

HOLT, Fla., March 30, 2023—The National Meteorological Organization has retired the names Fiona and Ian from the official hurricane name list.

The names Farrah and Idris will replace them in the list that rotates every six years, which will come around again in 2028.

The only time a name change is made is when a storm is so deadly or costly that using the name in later years would be inappropriate.

In the case of Fiona and Ian, both category 4 storms, the names were retired because of the death and destruction caused in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America, according to the WHO.

Hurricane Fiona was responsible for 29 deaths and more than $3 billion in damage and was the costliest extreme weather event on record in Canada.

Hurricane Ian caused a devastating storm surge in southwestern Florida, killing more than 150 people and causing more than $112 billion in damages making it the costliest hurricane in Florida’s history and the third costliest in the United States.

Naming storms

It wasn’t until 1953 that the United States began giving storms female names. This was after a previous two-year attempt to identify storms with the phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie, etc.). When a new international phonetic alphabet was introduced, known as the Nato phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, etc.), the phonetic names were dropped in favor of women’s names.

Female names were used until 1978 when men’s’ names were added to the eastern north Pacific list. The Atlantic list began using men’s names in 1979.

A total of 96 names have been retired since the naming practice began in 1953. The most retired in any one year was in 2005 when Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma were retired.

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