Laura among four tropical cyclone names retired in 2021

Posted at 2:20 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 15:20:50-04

The names Dorian, Laura, Eta and Iota will no longer be used as names for tropical cyclones.

The World Meteorological Organization announced Wednesday, March 17, that the four names would be retired from the list of rotating names because of the death and destruction they caused.

During their meeting, the Committee also decided that the Greek alphabet would not be used in the future because it "creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing."

In total, WMO says that 93 names have now been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storms began to be named under the current system.

The committee also discussed the formation of named storms prior to the official start of hurricane season. WMO says the committee agreed that there would be no change to the official start date of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2021.

Info from WMO on retired storm names:

2019 - Dorian
Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) and the strongest hurricane to hit the northwestern Bahamas in modern records. Dorian caused catastrophic damage mainly in Abaco and eastern Grand Bahama Islands with total damage estimated at $3.4 billion (USD). More than 75 percent of all homes on the island were damaged. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), an agency which the government of the Bahamas asked to conduct a study following Dorian's trail of destruction, stated that the hurricane left 29,500 people homeless and/or jobless.

Dexter will replace Dorian on the list of names in 2025.

2020 - Laura
Laura was a powerful category 4 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) that made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, accompanied by a devastating storm surge of at least 5 meters (17 feet) above ground level. It was responsible for 47 direct deaths in the United States and Hispaniola, and more than $19 billion in damage.

Leah will replace Laura on the list of names in 2026.

2020 - Eta & Iota
Hurricanes Eta and Iota both made landfall less than two weeks apart during November 2020 in the same area of the Nicaraguan coast just south of Puerto Cabezas. The two powerful tropical cyclones caused extensive flooding in Nicaragua, Honduras and other adjacent Central American countries, resulting in at least 272 fatalities and damage losses of more than $9 billion.

See the NOAA's Facebook post on the annoucement:

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