Hurricane committee retires Laura, removes Greek alphabet from list of storm names

FILE: Water covers land after the passage of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in...
FILE: Water covers land after the passage of Hurricane Laura, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Cameron, La. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool)(Source: STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG)
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 2:33 PM CDT
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GENEVA (WVUE) - The World Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee has retired Dorian (2019) and Laura, Eta, and Iota (2020) from the rotating list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names because of the death and destruction they caused.

It also decided that the Greek alphabet will not be used in the future because it “creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing.”

The Hurricane Committee agreed to the changes during its virtual naming convention on March 15-17.

In total, 93 names have now been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storms began to be named under the current system.

2020 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names
2020 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names(WMO)

The Hurricane Committee agreed on the retirement of names from 2020, along with 2019, because this was not on the agenda of last year’s Hurricane Committee due to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis.

Dorian (2019)

Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane and the strongest hurricane to hit the northwestern Bahamas in modern records. Dorian caused catastrophic damage in Abaco and the eastern Grand Bahama Islands. Total damage from Dorian is estimated at $3.4 billion. More than 75% of all homes on the island were damaged. Approximately 29,500 people were left homeless and/or jobless.

Dexter will replace Dorian on the list of names in 2025.

Laura (2020)

Laura was a powerful Category 4 hurricane that made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, accompanied by a devastating storm surge of at least 17 feet above ground level. Laura was responsible for 47 direct deaths in the United States and Hispanionla, as well as more than $19 billion in damage.

Leah will replace Laura on the list of names in 2026.

Eta & Iota (2020)

Hurricanes Eta and Iota made landfall less than two weeks apart in November 2020 in the same area of the Nicaraguan coast. The power tropical cyclones caused extensive flooding, resulting in at least 272 fatalities and $9 billion in losses.

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