The names of two storms, which caused extensive fatalities and damage across the southeast last year, have been retired by the World Meteorological Organization. The names Florence and Michael have been retired.
Storm names are typically reused on a six-year cycle (2018 names used again in 2024). Storm names are retired if they were so deadly or destructive that the future use of the name would be insensitive. 88 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953. A few retired names that you may remember include Matthew, Sandy, Irene, Katrina, and Isabel.
Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14th and moved slowly inland with heavy rain, storm surge, and record flooding. It caused at least 51 deaths and produced historic flooding across parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on October 10th. It was the most intense hurricane on record to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle. There were at least 45 deaths blamed on the storm in the United States.
With Florence and Michael scratched from the list, what names will replace them? Francine and Milton will take their place on the list and will potentially appear in 2024.