Dorian, Laura, Eta and Iota retired from list of Atlantic names, Greek alphabet discontinued

Tropical Storm Eta has sights set on Gulf Coast of Florida
Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 18:15:50-04

The World Meteorological Organization has retired four names from the rotating lists of Atlantic names. Dorian, Laura, Eta and Iota will no longer be used due to the death and destruction they caused.

If you remember, Dorian formed on August 24, 2019, in the Central Atlantic and strengthened to a hurricane on August 28 as it moved toward the Lesser Antilles. It then quickly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane on August 31 and a Category 5 on September 1. It made landfall in Elbow Cay, Bahamas, with winds of 185 mph. It is the strongest tropical system to impact the Bahamas. After making another Bahama landfall, it weakened and then strengthened again eventually making landfall at Cape Hatteras on September 6. The most severe storm surge flooding occurred on Ocracoke Island. People were stranded after 4- to-7-foot storm surge flooded the island.

Laura started off as a disturbance off the coast of Africa on August 16, 2020. By August 21, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura. This was the earliest twelfth named storm since 1995. Tropical Storm Laura made several landfalls including Hispaniola, Eastern Cuba and Western Cuba. Laura became a Category 1 hurricane on August 25 and rapidly intensified to a Category 4 on August 26 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Laura then made landfall at Cameron, Louisiana. This was the strongest hurricane to affect southwest Louisiana.

Eta formed on October 31 and made landfall in Nicaragua on November 3 as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. It eventually made landfall again as a Tropical Storm in Lower Matacumbe Bay on November 8.

Iota formed on November 13. Both Eta and Iota made landfall in Nicaragua as major hurricanes in basically the same area. Iota was the latest observed Category 5 hurricane on record in the North Atlantic Basin and the only Category 5 hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Season. Iota had maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.

If you weren't a huge fan of the Greek Alphabet, you're not alone. The World Meteorological Organization Hurricane Committee is retiring the Greek Alphabet because it is confusing. No word yet on what will be the replacement.

Dorian will be replaced with the name Dexter and Laura will be replaced with the name Leah.