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March 16, 2011

Hurricane names Igor and Tomas are retired

Dozens of deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage have prompted the World Meteorological Organization to retire two names from last season's roster of Atlantic hurricanes.

Tomas HaitiIgor and Tomas will be replaced on the 2016 names list by Ian and Tobias, the WMO said. 

Tropical storms that form in the Atlantic basin are given alternating male and female names drawn from a set of six lists. Each list has 21 names in alphabetical order (omitting Q, U, X, Y and Z). Each year's list is re-used six years later.

But when a storm causes enough death and damage, the WMO's hurricane committee will vote  to retire the name, and it passes into history.

Hurricane Igor formed near the Cape Verde Islands last September, moved across the Atlantic toIgor NOAA a position just north of the Leeward Islands, where it reached Category 4 strength on Sept. 14. Top sustained winds were measured at of 155 mph.

The storm weakened at sea, but struck Bermuda as a Cat. 1 storm. From there it moved north toward Newfoundland and expanded in size. It made landfall near Cape Race, where it wreaked $200 million in damage - the worst there in 75 years. One person was killed in Newfoundland, two more elsewhere.

Tropical Storm Tomas became a hurricane on Oct. 30 after battering Barbados. It strengthened to Cat. 2 and struck several Caribbean Islands before moving between Haiti and Jamaica. Fourteen people were confirmed killed or missing in St. Lucia after the storm. Floods and landslides in Haiti killed 35. Damages in St. Lucia alone were estimated at $500 million.

The 2011 hurricane season begins June 1. The first names on the new list are Arlene, Bret, Cindy and Don.

(PHOTOS: Top: Tomas strikes Haiti, Carl Juste, Miami Herald/MCT; Bottom: Hurricane Igor, NOAA)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:09 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Hurricanes

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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