Don’t be surprised if this year’s list of Atlantic hurricane names sounds familiar. Except for three replacements, many of the same names blew through during 2007 in one of the most severe seasons ever when measured by property damage.
Noel, Felix and Dean have been retired after producing a combined total of nearly 350 storm-related deaths six years ago, mostly in the Caribbean. They were replaced by Fernand, Nestor and Dorian, joining 18 others on the list.
The World Meteorological Organization rotates six lists of hurricane names in succession, retiring and replacing the names of the deadliest and most destructive storms (called cyclones and typhoons in other parts of the world).
Whether the organization gets through its full list depends on which way the wind blows, as will the naming of storms if the list of 21 is exhausted. That’s a rare year when the group turns to the Greek alphabet, starting with Alpha. That hasn’t happened since 2005, also the year of the costliest U.S. natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina.
Authorities have already predicted an active 2013 season but, for now, from Andrea to Wendy, here are the hurricanes-to-be for today through Nov. 30.