The “I” Storm Anomaly

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 1:46 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Hurricanes like Ian go down in memory and history. Over the off-season Ian will be added to the ranks of retired storm names and be part of an alphabetically anomaly.

Ian will be retired

Hurricane Ian caused massive destruction and loss of life in Southwest Florida. It unleashed horrific flooding in Central Florida and then went on to batter the Carolinas and spread torrential rain up the East Coast.

Ian’s destructive cost is already estimated to be over $100 billion dollars and the death toll is climbing to near 100 lives. Ian will go down as one of the most terrible storms to strike the U.S. and because of that it will be the last storm named Ian.

Retiring storm names

When it comes to storm names, the same ones are rotated every 7 years unless they are retired. There is no exact criteria for retiring a storm name. The World Meteorological Organization meets every year and makes the determination from significant death or destruction. Ian will fit that bill and likely Fiona of this year will as well. 94 storm names have been retired since 1954.

The anomaly

What’s really strange though is that it’s the “I” storm that has been retired the most by far. Since 2001 eleven “I” storms have been retired. The second most would be the “F” storms with five (including Fiona if it’s retired). The reason is the ninth letter of the alphabet, and then the ninth storm, are most likely to happen during the height of hurricane season when conditions can produce the strongest storms.

So, in future years, keep your eye on the “I” storm. It’s likely to be one of the worst.


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