Hurricanes Igor and Tomas get their names retired

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:19 PM GMT on March 27, 2011

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The names Tomas and Igor will no longer be used to name hurricanes in the Atlantic, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced this March. Hurricane Igor made landfall near Cape Race, Newfoundland on September 21, 2010, and was that island's most damaging hurricane in 75 years, with $200 million in damage. Hurricane Tomas smashed through the Lesser Antilles Islands on October 30 - 31, 2010, dealing a particularly harsh blow to St. Lucia, where eight died and damage was estimated at $500 million. Tomas also killed 35 people on Haiti, and contributed to a cholera epidemic that killed thousands.


Figure 1. Little Barsway bridge 10 km north of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, after flood waters from Hurricane Igor swept it away. Image credit: George J.B. Rose.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Tomas taken at 10:30am EDT Saturday October 30, 2010, as the storm began lashing the Lesser Antilles. At the time, Tomas was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The retirement of hurricane names
The WMO maintains a list of hurricane names for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific that repeats itself every six years. The names Igor and Tomas in the Atlantic would have appeared again in 2016, but will be replaced by Ian and Tobias. Each spring, the WMO meets to decide if any names should be retired from the list, due to notable death or destruction caused by one of the past season's storms. Any country that is a member of the WMO can request that a name be retired. If a country seriously affected by a hurricane does not request retirement of the name, then the name will not be retired. In the recent past, Mexico, in particular, has been reluctant to request retirement significant storms that have affected them. In 2010, two significant hurricanes affected the country, but Mexico chose not to request retirement of either: Hurricane Alex, which killed twelve people and did $1.5 billion in damage, and Hurricane Karl, which killed 22 and did $206 million in damage. Back in 2005, Mexico also did not request retirement of Hurricane Emily, which made two landfalls in Mexico as a major hurricane, destroying thousands of buildings, but not claiming any lives. A new storm named Emily will appear this year, as we are recycling the names from 2005 that were not retired (2005 holds the record for most retired names, with five.) Probably the best example of a hurricane that did not get its name retired, but deserved to, was Hurricane Gordon of 1994, which killed 1145 people on Haiti. Haiti did not send a representative to the 1995 WMO meeting when retirements for 1994 were decided. Gordon did not affect any other countries strongly enough to motivate them to request retirement, and the name Gordon will be used again in 2012.

Since Atlantic hurricanes began getting women's names in 1953, 76 names have been retired, an average of 1.3 retired names per year. The list includes one tropical storm, Allison of 2001, that caused billions in damage from its heavy rains. The storm with the most appearances so far is Arlene, which has appeared nine times: 1959, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1981, 1987, 1993, 1999, 2005. Arlene will make its tenth appearance this year. One exception to the retirement rule: before 1979, some storm names were simply dropped. For example, in 1966, Fern was substituted for Frieda, and no reason was given. Only three Eastern Pacific hurricanes have had their names retired--Hurricane Ismael of 1995, Hurricane Pauline of 1997, and Hurricane Kenna of 2002. All of these storms hit Mexico.

Cool Katrina animation
A new visualization created by Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois shows Hurricane Katrina spinning over the Gulf of Mexico during a 36-hour period in August, 2005. The animation is part of a full-length planetarium film called Dynamic Earth screened at the Fulldome UK festival on March 12 - 13. You can see the video at the newscientist.com or DynamicEarth web sites. The video description: Trajectories follow moist air rising into intense "hot tower" thunderstorms, and trace strong winds around the eye wall; rapidly rising air is yellow, sinking air blue. The sun, moon, and stars show the passing of time. The visualization highlights Katrina's awesome power and fierce beauty.

I'll be back with a new post Tuesday or Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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The rain finally lightened up now to a steady rain, but the line further to west isn't sagging south as much, I'm seeing tons of lighting strikes hitting out in the gulf. The torrential rain is gonna return soon again!
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Afternoon all, live in z-hills fl. and have 3.76 in the gauge and still coming down hard.
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Is it raining in Fla somewhere?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Quoting Grothar:


I thought you kept telling us it was the dry season. LOL What happened Jedmeister?


It is the dry season, I just said I wasn't gonna buy the models till it actually happened, because the modles sometimes bring in these big rain events in Spring and then back off in the last run or 2 and nothing happens. I said it was possible it would turn this wet but I didn't wanna get my hopes up in case it wouldn't lol.

It sure is though!
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Quoting CybrTeddy:
*looks out the backyard*
Oh - there goes the garden!

Those storms are finally filling in the "rain hole" left by the other storms right around Tampa.
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Radar estimated precipitation:

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Quoting aquak9:
I've seen more precip outta one of my cat's sneezes....

I'm not sure if that is more sad, disgusting, or amusing...
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Yeah the rainfall is blinding right now, some significant lighting is now getting to me from the gulf, I'm getting a close lighting hit about every 10 seconds.


I thought you kept telling us it was the dry season. LOL What happened Jedmeister?
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and that's rain HIPPO....

;)
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I've seen more precip outta one of my cat's sneezes....
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*looks out the backyard*
Oh - there goes the garden!
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Quoting jeffs713:
Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a list of the different types of forecasters here on the blogs. It is with great pride (and a large dose of amusement) that I present to you the:

2011 Guide to WeatherUnderground Hurricane Forecasters

Enjoy!


Clever!
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Heavy rain here but not the torrential stuff that your getting in your area. Closing in on 1.53" right now and it's still coming down about a 1/3 to 1/2 an hour.


Yeah the rainfall is blinding right now, some significant lighting is now getting to me from the gulf, I'm getting a close lighting hit about every 10 seconds.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Quoting clwstmchasr:


I live in Oldsmar and it has been very dry this month. One soaking rain today and we'll probably end up above normal for March.



Yeah for sure!
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Quoting StAugustineFL:


Meanwhile North Florida continues to suffer. Nothing more than a trace here.


Indeed i've only gotten isolated showers up here in Tallahassee. I think we will have to wait until mid week to really get in on the rainfall.
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aqua... you can have mine!!!!!
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Quoting aquak9:
ya'll are just a buncha no-good greedy rain pigs

EXACTLY!

They aren't sharing the rain with the rest of us!

:p
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Closing in on 2" now here on the northside of orlando. Nonstop moderate to heavy rain since this morning.



My rain guage is at 2.91 :)
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
ya'll are just a buncha no-good greedy rain pigs
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OK, who did the rain dance???

my purple hippo... check out youtube....

:)
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Quoting hydrus:
Paloma...I hope...


I remember that one.. last time we've had a major in the Caribbean.
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Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a list of the different types of forecasters here on the blogs. It is with great pride (and a large dose of amusement) that I present to you the:

2011 Guide to WeatherUnderground Hurricane Forecasters

Enjoy!
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Quoting Drakoen:


The precipitable water in the off-shore convection looks to be a little over 2 inches. It's going to train over the same areas that are already receiving being inundated with rainfall. Central Florida really under the gun today from Tampa to Orlando over to Melbourne.


Meanwhile North Florida continues to suffer. Nothing more than a trace here.
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Rita, the NW Caribbean is basically anything past Jamaica. What you're talking about is the extreme NW part of it.
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Quoting Drakoen:


The precipitable water in the off-shore convection looks to be a little over 2 inches. It's going to train over the same areas that are already receiving being inundated with rainfall. Central Florida really under the gun today from Tampa to Orlando over to Melbourne.

OK, who did the rain dance???
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Jeff that is the east NW Carribbean you're talking about, lol

heh. So where exactly is the west-central-southeast-northwest Caribbean?
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Quoting RastaSteve:


By the looks of that this rain ain't ending anytime soon. Classic training situation occuring right now across Tampa Bay. Somebody is going to come out of this today with 5" near Tampa.


The precipitable water in the off-shore convection looks to be a little over 2 inches. It's going to train over the same areas that are already receiving being inundated with rainfall. Central Florida really under the gun today from Tampa to Orlando over to Melbourne.
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Jeff that is the east NW Carribbean you're talking about, lol
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Rain rate is 4.12 inches per hour on my rain guage right now with about 35 mph gusts!

heck yeah, this is my kinda weather!:)
4.12 inches per hour is a lot. Ya bettah git da boat..:)
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Finally getting some good lighting now too! my streets are already flooding, good thing my house sits on several feet higher terrain above the street!

We are close to the coast though, so bring on the rain, it can rain 10 inches here in a day and the water eventually stops rising because it just drains into the ocean.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Quoting RastaSteve:


By the looks of that this rain ain't ending anytime soon. Classic training situation occuring right now across Tampa Bay. Somebody is going to come out of this today with 5" near Tampa.



Rain rate is 4.12 inches per hour on my rain guage right now with about 35 mph gusts!

heck yeah, this is my kinda weather!:)
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Here in Spring Hill, nnw of Tampa, we have received 2.78
inches of rain since 7:30am. A very welcomed event!
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Sadly I have no memory of Paloma, due to Ike. Don't even remember looking at satellite images of it
Paloma...I hope...
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Quoting jeffs713:
RitaEvac,

I think you are being terribly specific in specifying an area of ocean. I'm sure that if you isolated a small enough area of the Caribbean, you can find a spot that hasn't been worked over in several years. that said, NW Caribbean by most definitions includes the Cayman Islands. Here is how many people divide the Caribbean up:

From Nicaragua/Honduras border to Jamaica to Cuba - NW Caribbean.
Jamaica due south to Panama/South America - SW Caribbean.
Between 77W and Puerto Rico, south of Hispaniola and the major islands - Central Caribbean.
East of PR to the Windwards/Leewards - Eastern Caribbean.
Exactly. Thanks for clearing that up.
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RitaEvac,

I think you are being terribly specific in specifying an area of ocean. I'm sure that if you isolated a small enough area of the Caribbean, you can find a spot that hasn't been worked over in several years. that said, NW Caribbean by most definitions includes the Cayman Islands. Here is how many people divide the Caribbean up:

From Nicaragua/Honduras border to Jamaica to Cuba - NW Caribbean.
Jamaica due south to Panama/South America - SW Caribbean.
Between 77W and Puerto Rico, south of Hispaniola and the major islands - Central Caribbean.
East of PR to the Windwards/Leewards - Eastern Caribbean.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
85 and 20 lat long
Quoting RitaEvac:


I looked at the map of the track, NW Carribbean in my standards is closer to Yucatan and Cuba


The Cayman Islands is actually just about 90-100 miles south of the sw tip of Cuba and located in the NW Caribbean.
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>
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Quoting RastaSteve:


It's pouring here to Jed. I'm at 1.26" so far and it's really coming down right now. One thing of note are the yellow's on the radar are much heavier than one would think due to the deep tropical moisture in place. Places near Disney are nearing 3".



Yeah it doesn't look like you're getting that much but then again the rain is a lot heavier here as well. I was driving back from Calculus class and the street had flood water the whole way which is a pretty big deal cause the drainage is really good here. Thank God for my Chevy 4X4 heavy duty. Its a an outdoorsman and a weather lovers best friend.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Sadly I have no memory of Paloma, due to Ike. Don't even remember looking at satellite images of it
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Quoting RitaEvac:


I looked at the map of the track, NW Carribbean in my standards is closer to Yucatan and Cuba
That is more towards the G.O.M than the NW Caribbean. Paloma moved NE in the NW Caribbean from the SW Caribbean. I didn't need to look at the track. I lived it. LOL Paloma did major damage to Cayman Brac and Gustav alos passed through the NW Caribbean in 2008 between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
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Quoting RastaSteve:
Lots of rain here in C FL with some areas anywhere from 1" to 4" and lots more on the way.


Yeah I am getting hammered with wet season like downpours on the west coast of Florida, looks like you are just getting some steady rain, but still beneficial!

Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
So Wilma stands as the last major to churn that area of waters I'm referring to, back in 05
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85 and 20 lat long
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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