Retiring hurricane Ida

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Retiring hurricane Ida

Last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was the third most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, trailing only 2020 and 1995. The season produced 21 named storms, with hurricane Ida being the most destructive storm. Last spring, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Hurricane Committee officially retired the name Ida from its recurring list of hurricane names:

Ida peaked as a category 4 hurricane that caused severe to catastrophic damage in southeastern Louisiana, and brought heavy rain and deadly flooding in the northeastern United States. Ida is responsible for more than 80 fatalities and caused $75 billion in damage in the United States.

The remnants of Ida also affected Atlantic Canada during the Labour Day weekend. Heavy rain and strong wings caused localized flooding, difficult driving conditions and power outages in some spots.

Total precipitation amounts over the Atlantic region from the remnants of Ida over the long Labour Day weekend.

Ida’s replacement

Following Ida’s retirement, the WMO has chosen the name Imani as a replacement. Tropical storm names are repeated every six years, therefore, Imani will make its first appearance during the 2027 Atlantic hurricane season.

Retiring storm names

Tropical storms or hurricanes that have severe impacts, either on lives or on the economy, are usually remembered many years after the devastation. These storms become part of weather history and reusing the name of such devastating storms in the future would lack compassion and sensitivity.

A country deeply affected by a storm can request the name to be retired. In this case, the name cannot be reused for at least 10 years, to help with historic references, legal actions, insurance claim activities, and to also avoid confusion with another storm of the same name. To date, since the inauguration of the Atlantic tropical cyclone list in 1953, 94 names have been retired.

Retired names in the Atlantic basin list
Audrey, Agnes, Anita, Allen, Alicia, Andrew, Allison
Betsy, Beulah, Bob
Carol, Connie, Carla, Cleo, Camille, Celia, Carmen, Cesar, Charley
Diane, Donna, Dora, David, Diana, Dennis, Dean, Dorian
Edna, Eloise, Elena, Erika
Flora, Fifi, Frederic, Fran, Floyd, Fabian, Frances, Felix, Florence
Greta, Gloria, Gilbert, Georges, Gustav
Hazel, Hattie, Hilda, Hugo, Hortense, Harvey
Ione, Inez, Iris, Isidore, Isabel, Ivan, Ike, Igor, Irene, Ingrid, Irma, Ida
Janet, Joan, Juan, Jeanne, Joaquin
Klaus, Keith, Katrina
Luis, Lenny, Lili, Laura
Marilyn, Mitch, Michelle, Matthew, Maria, Michael
Noel, Nate
Opal, Otto
Roxanne, Rita
Stan, Sandy
Eta, Iota (greek letters)

Canada retires a name

On April 29, 2004, the WMO granted Canada’s request to retire the name Juan, a Category 2 hurricane, which was the most powerful storm to hit Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in over a century. This was the first time that Canada had requested the retirement of a storm name.

Roof blown off a house in Chebucto Head, Nova Scotia. Source: Jim Abraham and Chris Fogarty.

This year, hurricanes Ian and Fiona were so destructive and deadly that it’s likely that they will be retired.




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