2013 Atlantic Storm Names

June 1, 2013

Here we are on June 1st, at the start of another hurricane season in the Atlantic.   Per my (admittedly not quite reliable) tradition, here is my review of the storm names for the season. Where did these unfamiliar names come from? What happened to some of the familiar ones? The answers come out below.

This year’s list of names is the sixth iteration of the list first used in 1983.  This list has had the most changes (total of 12) along with the most names retired from the original group (10). Owing to the low number of storms in 1983, there are only two names that have been used in each iteration .  Two of the names have never been used and three are on the list for the first time. The names (with links for years to images of the tracking chart for the storm and links for retired names to the Wikipedia entry):

Andrea – This spot on the list was originally filled by Alicia, which was replaced by Allison in 1989. Allison, of course is the only tropical storm to have its name retired. Andrea  debuted in 2007  as a pre-season subtropical storm off the southeastern United States.

Barry – In 1983, a category 1 hurricane that had made landfall (as a tropical depression) at Melbourne, Florida before transversing the Gulf of Mexico to make landfall in northern Mexico. Tropical storm at sea in 1989. Hit Nova Scotia as a tropical storm in 1995. In 2001, made landfall on the Florida panhandle, again as a tropical storm. The 2007 edition also paid a visit to Florida as a tropical storm before traveling up the east coast in a post-tropical life.

Chantal – Category 1 hurricane at sea in 1983. The 1989 version struck Texas and was responsible for 13 fatalities (all due to drowning, the sad details can be read here). Tropical storm at sea in 1995 and in the Caribbean in 2001. The 2007 edition was a short-lived tropical storm that caused flooding in Newfoundland in its post-tropical life.

Dorian – New for 2013. Replaces the monster of the 2007 season, Dean.

At the height of his strength

Erin – Category 2 hurricane at sea in 1989.  Made landfall near Vero Beach, Florida as a category one hurricane , crossed the peninsula and made a second landfall near Fort Walton Beach as a category 2 in 1995. In 2001 it was an “interrupted-track” storm that eventually became a category three hurricane and passed just east of Bermuda and later Cape Race, Newfoundland (in its final hours as a tropical storm). The 2007 edition struck Texas as a tropical storm and the remnant low persisted into Oklahoma and strengthened briefly;the storm report has a paragraph on why the NHC did not consider it to be a tropical cyclone over Oklahoma despite its convective organization and relatively high winds.

Fernand – New for 2013. Replaces the name of the other category 5 hurricane of 2007, Felix.

Gabrielle – Category 4 hurricane at sea in 1989. Small tropical storm into northern Mexico in 1995. The 2001 edition caused a fair bit of flooding in Florida after making landfall on the west coast near Venice before re-intensifying to a category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic. In 2007, the name was attached to a short-lived tropical storm that affected the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Humberto – Added to the list in 1995, replacing Hugo. The debut edition was a Category 2 hurricane as was the subsequent 2001 storm. In 2007, formed from the remnants of the same front that spawned Gabrielle. It went from tropical depression to hurricane in less than 19 hours and was rapidly strenghening prior to landfall at High Island, Texas.

Things can happen quickly in the Gulf.

Things can happen quickly in the Gulf.

Ingrid – Replaced Iris after the 2001 season. Inauspicious debut in 2007  as a weak and short-lived tropical storm.

Jerry – Hit upper Texas as a category 1 hurricane in 1989 . The 1995 version affected central Florida as a tropical storm. 2001 and 2007 editions were fairly short-lived tropical storms.

Karen – Loopy tropical storm in the western Caribbean in 1989. Tropical storm at sea in 1995. Was a category 1 hurricane in 2001 before making landfall in the Canadian maritimes as a tropical storm.

Lorenzo – Replaced 1995’s Luis. Tropical storm in 2001. Quick forming category 1 hurricane that struck Veracruz, Mexico in 2007.

Melissa –  Replaced 2001’s Michelle, which was a one time replacement for Marilyn. Was a short-lived tropical storm just west of the Cape Verde Islands in 2007.

Nestor – New for 2013. Replaced Noel, a category1 hurricane that was directly responsible for no fewer than 163 deaths at the end of October 2007.

Olga –  Replaced 1995’s Opal. A wayward category 1 hurricane at sea in 2001. Made an east-west crossing of Hispanola as a tropical storm in post-season 2007, causing 40 deaths along the way.

Pablo – Only appearance was in 1995 as a weak tropical storm.

Rebekah – Replaced Roxanne in 1995, but is yet to debut.

Sebastian – Tropical storm in 1995 that hit the island of Anguilla before dissipating in the Caribbean.

Tanya – Was a category 1 hurricane in 1995 before striking the Azores as a tropical storm.

Van – Never used.

Wendy – Never used.


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