Ida ends up being 12th name beginning with 'I' to be retired from cyclone list

There's something about typhoons starting with the letter I that is especially nasty. Last year's Ida now joins the list of storms so fatal their names do not get used again.

The World Meteorological Organization stated Wednesday that it was retiring the name "Ida" from its list of Atlantic cyclone names that repeats every 6 years. Ida triggered $75 billion damage in the U.S. and killed 55 people in a swath of damage from Louisiana to New England.

Ida, a classification four storm, caused about $55 billion in flooding damage and killed six people in Louisiana when it made landfall, but its heavy rains and flooding killed 49 people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. It is the fifth costliest storm in U.S. history behind Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Maria and Sandy, all likewise retired, said National Hurricane Center senior cyclone professional Daniel Brown, who is on the WMO committee that retires names.

" This one produced a swath of effects over really a relatively large part of the Eastern U.S.," Brown said Wednesday.

After sloshing through Tennessee, Ida's fury struck the Northeast with record rains and twisters. Newark, New Jersey, got 8.4 inches of rain, the most ever in a single day, smashing the old record by 1.5 inches. New York City got rain falling at more than 3 inches per hour.

It's been a hard five years for the United States with the most effective typhoons.

" We had more classification 4 and category 5 landfalls in the USA from 2017 to 2021 than from 1963 to 2016," National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, chair of the WMO committee, stated in a declaration.

The WMO has retired 94 hurricane names in the Atlantic because of a storm's lethal history and 12 of them began with the letter I. No other letter is even close.

There have actually been nine C and F named storms, stated University of Miami cyclone researcher Brian McNoldy who tracks retired names.

Brown stated it's most likely because typhoons get named in alphabetical order and "by the time we get to the I name we're into the peak hurricane season" and the storms are the type that live longer and are more powerful.

But if that's the case, why aren't H and J right up there in retired names, McNoldy asked. He stated it's probably "simply quite misfortune."

It's getting harder to discover names that begin with the letter I, are the same gender as the one they need to replace, and aren't utilized by other storm basins, Brown stated. The committee chose Imani to take Ida's place.

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