HOUSTON — The World Meteorological Organization's Hurricane Committee convened today at their annual meeting in Costa Rica to vote on and retire hurricane names that were particularly devastating.
This year they voted to retire the names Ian, which became a major category 4 hurricane before making landfall in southwest Florida, and Fiona which also became a major hurricane but caused the most devastation as a category 1 storm when it impacted Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.
These two names will be replaced with Idris and Farrah in the 6-year rotating list produced by the National Hurricane Center.
Ian has become the 13th "I" named storm to be retired since 1954. The most out of any other letter.
One may wonder, what is it about "I" named storms that produce so many destructive storms that they become retired so much more often?
One reason leads back to climatology.
"'I' named storms are the 9th named storms of the year. Over a period of 30 hurricane season, on average the 9th named storm develops on or around mid-September. This corresponds with the peak of hurricane season, meaning tropical development is not only more likely but more ingredients are in place to enhance the destructive capabilities of storms that do develop."
For reference, "F" named storms, in regards to Fiona, has been retired 10 times.
There has not been a season where the WMO has not retired a storm name since 2014.
The most names to be retired in one season is five. Those were names from the 2005 hurricane season: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan, and Wilma.