Four names retired from hurricane list after catastrophic 2017 season

A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Irma as a Category 5 hurricane on Sept. 5 2017

A NOAA satellite image shows Hurricane Irma as a Category 5 hurricane on Sept. 5

NOAA officials say 86 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list over the past six decades.

Hurricane Harvey became a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale before making landfall along the middle Texas coast on August 25.

Maria was still a category 4 hurricane when it reached Puerto Rico as the strongest storm to hit the island since 1928 and by far the most destructive.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday the names of four hurricanes that caused significant damage and killed dozens previous year will be retired. When it hit Puerto Rico, it was still a Category 4, and the strongest storm to hit the US territory since 1928. Otherwise names are reused on a six-year cycle.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association estimates that the damage caused by Maria places it at No. 3 - right behind Harvey and Katrina.

Due to the current 6-year rotation, the new names will first appear on the 2023 list.

The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record
The 2017 hurricane season was one of the most destructive

Irma - a Category 5 storm, the strongest designation, wrecked havoc on Caribbean islands; Barbuda was nearly completely destroyed.

Harvey, Irma and Maria were exceptionally destructive and killed dozens of people.

The names have been replaced by Harold, Idalia, Margot and Nigel.

Experts are already predicting a busier than normal hurricane season.

The 2017 hurricane season featured three category 4 hurricanes making landfall, including Harvey, Irma and Maria. In 2005, five storm names, including Katrina, were retired - the most for a single season. For Atlantic storms, the name can be French, Spanish or English, reflecting the languages of residents of countries that could be impacted by a hurricane. The names alternate between male and female. If more than 21 storms form in one season, like in 2005, the Greek alphabet is used to name the additional storms.

Maria was used three times in the Atlantic and three times in the Western Pacific, while Nate was also used three times.

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