The west coast of Florida is preparing for impact with widespread evacuations as Hurricane Idalia barrels over the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Idalia, which is moving near the Florida coast, has the potential to join the list of tropical systems with names that start with the letter “I” that have retired in the Atlantic Ocean.
With Ian in 2022 and Irma in 2017, Hurricane Idalia could be the latest hurricane to have the title in the “terrible I’s.”
Compared to any other letter of the alphabet, the letter I have had the most hurricane names that begin with it retired since 1954 because of their extensive devastation.
According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane name lists are updated every six years, however, the World Metrological Organization may retire a name if a storm is so expensive or dangerous that using its name for a different storm in the future would be improper due to obvious sensitivities.
The lists are rotated every six years, therefore the list of potential storm names for 2023 will be used once more in 2029.
If a season produces more tropical storms than there are names for that year, a name from a list of approved replacement names is then used.
The US exclusively used female names to describe storms for 25 years. In 1978, the first use of male names began. The use of Greek letters as alternative names came to an end in 2020.
The names that start with the letter “I” are the most prevalent on the Atlantic retired list, accounting for 14 names or almost 15% of the list.