Hurricane names starting with this letter have been retired more

94 storms names have been retired due to amount destruction they caused

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Hurricanes Katia, Irma and Jose (NOAA)

Orlando, FLA. – Each hurricane season comes with a list of storm names, that are regenerated every sixth year.

The only time the names on the list change is when a storm name is officially retired. This process occurs each spring when members of the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee review the previous hurricane season.

Graph of retired names by letter

They look through the list of names and decide if any storms created so much damage or loss of life that it would be inappropriate or insensitive to reuse that name. Some notable storms that come to mind include Andrew, Katrina and Irma.

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But when looking back on the list of retired names over the past 60 years there has been an interesting trend with storms starting with the letter “I.” That letter has more retired storms than any of the other letters of the alphabet.

List of retired "I" named storm

Out of the 94 retired storms, 12 of those begin with the letter “I”. With ten of those “I” names officially retiring in the last 20 years.

Factors that could play into this trend:

  1. With it being the ninth named storm, there is a good chance we will see an “I” named storm each season
  2. The time of the season when we usually get to the letter “I” occurs near the peak of hurricane season which is Sept. 10. According to data from the National Hurricane Center, we tend to see our ninth named system on Sept. 16.
  3. Also in September, areas where formation occurs are prime real estate for storms to gain speed and intensity (Cabo Verde storms) as they track towards land.
September Tropical Formation Zones

In second place, the storms starting with the letter “C” and “F” are tied with a total of nine. Followed by eight “D” storms.

Looking at the season in general, August and September are almost tied for retired storms in each month. August has a total of 34 retired storms, with 33 in September.


About the Author:

Candace joined the News 6 team as the weekend morning meteorologist and reporter. She comes to Central Florida from Miami.