June 2, 2014
Yesterday marked the first day of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and per custom, the National Hurricane Center posted their first Tropical Weather Outlook with the list of names that will be used this season along with their pronunciations. It has been my custom to provide a history of these names to suggest why a name may sound familiar and to show where the unfamiliar names came from.
This year’s list was first used in 1984. Nine original names have been retired, which is the second-most retired from the six lists. As is the case for half of the lists, the name beginning with the letter I has been replaced twice. There are five names original to the list which have not yet been used and three are new for 2014.
Arthur – Each time this name was used, it was in association with a tropical storm that did not become a hurricane. The 1984 edition was a weak tropical storm east of the Lesser Antilles. The 1990 version was stronger and crossed into the Caribbean. In 1996, the storm named Arthur made landfall in North Carolina before curving back to sea. In 2002, the cyclone formed east of North Carolina and headed to Newfoundland. The 2008 version formed from the remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Arthur (a scenario which is in play at this moment in 2014) and made landfall in Belize.
Bertha – For Americans, this might be the most notorious name on the list. While the 1984 edition was a weak tropical storm at sea, 1990‘s Bertha was a category one hurricane that made landfall in Nova Scotia. In 1996, it was a major hurricane that made landfall in North Carolina as a category one (Particularly memorable for me as my father and I drove around the periphery of it post-landfall as we traveled from Tallahassee to Chesapeake, VA. A downed limb on US 17, east of the Great Dismal Swamp, caused a tire blow-out and quite the soaking for us when we changed the tire in the dark.) 2002‘s Bertha was a weak tropical storm that made landfall in southeast Louisiana while the 2008 iteration was the longest-lived and eastern-most forming July tropical cyclone on record.
Dolly – Replaced Diana after 1990. The inaugural edition made landfall in Mexico as a category 1 hurricane in 1996. In 2002, it was a tropical storm at sea, while in 2008 it was a landfalling hurricane once again; this time on the Yucatan Peninsula and south Texas.
Edouard – In 1984, the storm had a quick life and death in the Bay of Campeche. In 1990, it was a tropical storm that meandered around the Azores. It was the strongest hurricane (category four) of the 1996 season and threatened New England before curving away. The 2002 edition made landfall in Ormond Beach, Florida as a tropical storm while 2008‘s struck Texas.
Fay – Replaced Fran after 1996. Both editions since have been landfalling tropical storms. 2002‘s hit near Matagorda, Texas. In 2008, the storm crossed over Hispanola and Cuba before making four landfalls in Florida (at Key West, Naples, Flagler Beach, and Carabelle).
Gonzalo – We finally reach one of the new names. It is the replacement for Gustav.
Hanna – Replaced Hortense after 1996. In 2002, it was a tropical storm with landfalls at the mouth of the Mississippi River and the Alabama/Mississippi border. The 2008 hurricane made landfall near the North Carolina/South Carolina border and worsened flooding in Haiti, which had already been affected by Fay and Gustav. Were it not for the latter, the name Hanna likely would have been retired.
Josephine – It is pretty unusual to have a name this deep in the list that is both original and has been used every time, but here we are. In 1984, it was a category two hurricane at sea, while 1990‘s was a category one. The 1996 tropical storm tracked east across the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in an uninhabited part of Taylor County, Florida. The 2002 and 2008 versions were tropical storms at sea (though remnants of the latter did bring flooding to St Croix).
Kyle – Replaced Klaus after 1990. In 1996, it was a short-lived tropical storm off the coast of Central America. In 2002, it was a wayward hurricane that ultimately hit the Carolinas while curving to the northeast and subsequently absorbed by a cold front. The 2008 edition was also a hurricane and made landfall near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Marco – It was the only tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States (near Cedar Key, Florida) in 1990. It was a wayward hurricane in the Caribbean Sea in 1996. The 2008 version was a small tropical storm in the Bay of Campeche.
Omar – In 2008, it was a category four hurricane, which formed in the Caribbean Sea and moved to the northeast before eventually dissipating west of the Azores.
Paulette – New for 2014, this name is the replacement for Paloma.
Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred have never been used. If the hurricane season forecasts are accurate, they will have to wait until 2020 to possibly make an appearance.