Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hurricane Hall of Fame

Okay, so maybe it shouldn't be referred to as the 'Hall of Fame', but this list does consist of some very well known storms.
Not even a week after Irene slid up the East Coast, authorities are now talking about retiring the hurricane's name so another 'Irene' may never exist.

Since the World Meteorological Organization began retiring hurricane names in 1954, 75 names have been permanently removed from the rotating lists of names for Atlantic Ocean hurricanes.

As expected, some of these names are truly historical. Who could forget Katrina? Andrew? Camile? These three names, among several others are no longer part of the alphabetical lists of storm names that rotate every six years for the Atlantic Ocean region because of the destruction they caused.

In the case of Irene, WMO officials say it's too early to say whether or not the name 'Irene' will be retired. A decision will be made in an annual meeting next March to review the year's previous hurricane season (which runs from June 1-Nov 30).

The decision to retire a name is made based on whether or not the hurricane in question resulted in numerous deaths or costly damage so much so that using the name to label a future storm would be considered insensitive to those greatly affected by the previous one.

Irene, for example, made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and caused at least 41 deaths (the count may still rise as missing persons are accounted for) and billions of dollars in damage.

Whether the name is retired or not, i think everyone was happy to say "Good Night, Irene" once the storm finally took itself out of commission.