Retired Hurricane Name Statistics

Quote of the Day

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Chapter 1: Economy

Figure 1: Retired Atlantic Hurricane Names.

Figure 1: Retired Atlantic Hurricane Names.

I was reading an article that stated that names of Hurricane Harvey and Irma could be the eighth pair of back-to-back hurricane whose names have been retired since the 1954. I have never thought about which hurricane names have been retired, so I started to search around the web. As usual, the Wikipedia provided an excellent data source.

The modern hurricane naming system began in 1954 and the first name retirements occurred in 1955. Figure 1 shows that 83 Atlantic hurricane names have been retired as of the 2016. There are some famous names on this list. These names have a visceral response on some people. For example, my father-in-law used to shudder whenever he heard the name Camille.

You can see the kind of destruction that these storm cause by looking at the 10 retired hurricane names with the greatest loss of life (Figure 2a) and repair costs (Figure 2b).

Figure 2(a): Ten Retired Hurricane Names with the Greatest Loss of Life.
Figure 2(b): Ten Retired Hurricane Names with the Greatest Monetary Losses.

It also is interesting to look at the frequency with which hurricane names are retired. In Figure 3, I show the list down into 5 year periods that display the total number of names retired and total damage caused. You can see that the period from 1995 through 2009 was rough.

Figure 3: Hurricane Names Retired, Total Damage, and Loss of Life in Five-Year Periods.

For those who are interested, my workbook is available here.


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