‘I do not authorize’: Why can’t hurricanes be called ‘Ian’ and ‘Fiona’?

Los Hurricanes ‘Ian’ and ‘Fiona’will be removed from the rotating list of Atlantic tropical cyclone names due to the number of deaths and destruction they caused, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, for its acronym in English).

Accordingly, Hurricane ‘Fiona’ will now be known as ‘Farrah’, while ‘Idris’ will replace ‘Ian’.

In this regard, the agency made an account of the damage caused by these hurricanes during their route:

‘Fiona’ struck the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos in September 2022, later moving over the western Atlantic and hitting Canada, although no longer classified as a hurricane, but as a strong post-tropical cyclone; on its journey it left at least 29 dead and authorities calculate its material damage at more than 3 billion dollars.

For its part, ‘Ian’ impacted Cuba as a category 3 hurricane, and then moved towards Florida as a tropical storm, causing at least 150 deaths and around 112 billion dollars in damage.

Why are hurricanes named?

Tropical cyclones are assigned names from an alphabetical list once they reach tropical storm status. If a hurricane season (calculated between the end of June and the beginning of November of each year) registers more than 26 named storms, the I use greek letters.

According to the WMO, the names of these phenomena are repeated at least every six years; this rule is only corrected in the event that a hurricane such mass destruction, which generates your name withdrawal. Since the current storm naming system was implemented in 1953, 96 hurricanes have been ‘dropped’ from the list.

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