Blog: What letter has the most retired hurricane names?

A certain letter of the alphabet has more retired names than any other letter
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Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 4:24 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The World Meteorological Organization uses names for storms to streamline communication with the public and alert those who may be in the path of a tropical system.

They began naming storms in 1953 after coming to the conclusion that names were easier to remember than numbers and technical terms. There’s a new list of storm names used every year from six rotating lists.

When a storm becomes particularly deadly or costly, the name is then retired and replaced with a new one. Ian and Fiona were the latest to be added to the list of retirees from the 2022 season. That brings the total number of storms retired to 96.

But there’s one letter of the alphabet that is retired the most. Ian brought the “I” list to 14. One explanation is that most of the “I” names such as Irma, Ida, and Ian have formed when conditions are favorable for strong hurricanes during the peak of the season.

The peak of hurricane season is September 10th in the Atlantic basin.
The peak of hurricane season is September 10th in the Atlantic basin.(WVUE Fox 8)

Ian struck western Cuba as a category 3 hurricane with winds as high as 125 mph. It made a second landfall on southwest Florida as major hurricane killing 150 people and causing 112 billion dollars in damage. Ian is the costliest storm in Florida’s history and the third costliest in the United States history.

Iota was a unique retiree in that it wasn’t a part of the original list for that year. It was from the Greek alphabet when in 2020, the list was exhausted and the new alphabet was used.

The second most retired letter is “F” with Fiona making 10.

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