Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate will no longer be on the rotating list of storm names, the WMO said on Thursday.
WMO's Regional Specialized Meteorological Center Miami, which is under the responsibility of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, reported that, of the 17 named tropical storms that formed during 2017, 10 became hurricanes and six reached major hurricane strength (category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).
Irma lashed the Caribbean and the US, making seven separate landfalls as it tore across the islands and the Southeast US. They will be replaced by Harold, Idalia, Margot, and Nigel for the 2023 season.
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.
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Hurricane Maria came next, slamming into the island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm on September 19, then wrecking havoc on Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Nate hit Central America and the Gulf Coast of the USA, eventually becoming a Category 1 hurricane. But if a hurricane is particularly deadly or costly, its name is retired and is replaced by a different name.
Hurricane Harvey killed at least 68 people after hitting Texas last August.
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. The 2005 hurricane season has the most retired names (five) for one season.
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Experts are already predicting a busier than normal hurricane season.
With these four additions, a total of 86 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953.
In 1953, the U.S. began using female names for hurricanes and, by 1979, both male and female names were used.
There are no Q, U, X, Y or Z names, due to the lack of usable names that begin with those letters.
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Maria was used three times in the Atlantic and three times in the Western Pacific, while Nate was also used three times.
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