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Some storms are so awful, their names must be retired

This season's hurricane names were chosen six years ago by the World Meteorological Organization.

There have been some adjustments since then.

Four names were removed: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Hurricane names are recycled unless they are used for storms that are very deadly, costly or intense.

So unless you are suffering from the effects of Hurricane Amnesia (see cover story), you'll know why they were replaced with Colin, Fiona, Igor and Julia.

In 2004, Charley made landfall near Punta Gorda as a Category 4 hurricane. It was the 19th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever and the fourth costliest, with $15 billion in damage. Ten people died in the United States. Until just before landfall, Charley's forecast track had it hitting Tampa Bay head on.

Less than a month later, Frances struck Florida's east coast as a Category 2 hurricane and traveled west across Central Florida. It was the seventh-costliest storm with nearly $9 billion in damage.

Nine days later, Ivan struck the United States as a Category 3 hurricane. It produced 117 tornadoes, killed 25 people in the United States and was the fifth costliest.

Later that month, Jeanne struck Florida's east coast as a Category 3 hurricane. It was the ninth-costliest, with $7 billion in damage in the United States and an eye 57 miles across.

The list of names runs from A to W (Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used), which is usually enough to last a full season (June 1 through Nov. 30).

But not always.

So many hurricanes formed in 2005 that the entire list was used. For the first time, Greek letters were applied to the rest (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta). It was the most active hurricane season ever, with five names permanently retired — also the most names ever.

Here are the names that will be used this season:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Alex Arlene Alberto Andrea Arthur
Bonnie Bret Beryl Barry Bertha
Colin Cindy Chris Chantal Cristobal
Danielle Don Debby Dorian Dolly
Earl Emily Ernesto Erin Edouard
Fiona Franklin Florence Fernand Fay
Gaston Gert Gordon Gabrielle Gonzalo
Hermine Harvey Helene Humberto Hanna
Igor Irene Isaac Ingrid Isaias
Julia Jose Joyce Jerry Josephine
Karl Katia Kirk Karen Kyle
Lisa Lee Leslie Lorenzo Laura
Matthew Maria Michael Melissa Marco
Nicole Nate Nadine Nestor Nana
Otto Ophelia Oscar Olga Omar
Paula Philippe Patty Pablo Paulette
Richard Rina Rafael Rebekah Rene
Shary Sean Sandy Sebastien Sally
Tomas Tammy Tony Tanya Teddy
Virginie Vince Valerie Van Vicky
Walter Whitney William Wendy Wilfred

Source: National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center

Some storms are so awful, their names must be retired 05/21/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 21, 2010 1:04pm]
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