Another hurricane name is added to the list of "retired names" -- Irene. Irene becomes the 76th retired storm name. You may remember Irene from last year, as it tore over parts of the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and then traveled up the East coast. The World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) hurricane committee will retire Irene from the list of tropical storm names in the Atlantic Basin due to the number of fatalities and cost of damage the storm caused. Below is a satellite image of the hurricane over the Bahamas.
Tropical storm names are reused every six years unless, as in this case, the storm caused considerable damage and/or casualties. As stated by NOAA, "Irene was directly responsible for 48 deaths: five in the Dominican Republic, three in Haiti, and 40 in the United States. For the United States, six deaths are attributed to storm surge/waves or rip currents,13 to wind, including falling trees, and 21 to rainfall-induced floods. Including flood losses, damage in the United States is estimated to be $15.8 billion".
- Damage From Hurricane Irene
Irene became the first named storm of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season on August 20th and strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane by August 24th, as it passed Southeast of the Bahamas. Irene gradually weakened and made landfall in North Carolina, on August 27th,, as a Category 1 hurricane and continued to track North and East along the Delmarva Peninsula. On August 28th, Irene made landfall near Atlantic City, NJ and continued to bring heavy rain and strong gusty winds to New England.
- NOAA - Hurricane Irene Track
Right here in D.C. we had to deal with a lot of rain and gusty winds. Many people were without power for days and coastal flooding was a serious issue, as well.
So you may be wondering, what name will replace Irene? Well, the name is Irma. That particular list of names won't be used again until 2017. If you want to know if your name is on the list of tropical storm names for the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season, here's the list:
Alberto Florence Kirk Patty
Beryl Gordon Leslie Rafael
Chris Helene Michael Sandy
Debby Isaac Nadine Tony
Ernesto Joyce Oscar Valerie