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Committee Retires Four 2017 Hurricane Names

14 April 2018

Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate have been retired as hurricane names, marking a dubious honour for the 2017 storms that were among the worst ever to lash the Caribbean and United States, the U.S. oceanic agency said on Thursday.

Due to the extensive damage caused in the United States and Caribbean a year ago, the World Meteorological Organization's Region IV Hurricane Committee has officially retired these names. But if a hurricane is particularly deadly or costly, its name is retired and is replaced by a different name.

Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods.

Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel will replace those four on the list. When a storm name is retired from the Atlantic's list of names, member countries of the meteorological organisation from that region select a new name.

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The 2005 season has the most retired names at five. It wasn't just the most active - it was also the most expensive on record in US history. At least 68 people died from the storm in Texas.

Hurricane Irma, which peaked as a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall seven times and hit islands in the northern Caribbean and Florida in early September. Irma caused 44 deaths and 85 indirect deaths in the Caribbean and Florida.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association estimates that the damage caused by Maria places it at No. 3 - right behind Harvey and Katrina. These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.

Nate proceeded north to hit the central U.S. Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane and brought minor rainfall to Virginia. 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. It brought rainfall that caused significant impacts in Central America, where media reports indicate that these caused 44 deaths in the region.

Committee Retires Four 2017 Hurricane Names