Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

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Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#1 Postby GSBHurricane » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:13 am

I’ve seen a lot of threads around here that ask which names that weren’t retired should have been. But, I’ve never really seen the other way around. So I think I will be the one to ask. Note, this is just my opinion.

Elena 1985 - $1.3 billion in damage isn’t anything to scoff at until you notice it only caused 4 deaths while Juan of that year did $1.5 billion in damage and killed 63 people while evading retirement.

Klaus 1990 - I think this one most can agree upon.

Lenny 1999 - Damages were described as just being moderate in the Virgin Islands. Storms like Hugo and Marilyn within that decade were more destructive.

Lili 2002 - I know this prompted major evacuations (it was originally supposed to hit Louisiana as a major hurricane) and it, along with Isidore of that same year, shut down much of Louisiana’s oil operations. But by itself it only caused $1.1 billion in damage to the US - the country that requested it - and killed only 2 people there.

Fabian 2003 - Don’t jump me for this. I know it caused a fair amount of damage to Bermuda but I just don’t think 8 deaths is retirement worthy.

Juan 2003 - See Fabian except with Canada. Should have been retired after 1985 imo.

Paloma 2008 - See Fabian except with the Cayman Islands and no deaths there. I also believe Ivan was worse for th Caymans as a whole.

Igor 2010 - See Juan

Joaquin 2015 - Only went because of the sinking of the El Farro.

Otto 2016 - Between Joan 1988, Cesar 1996, and Nate 2017, this doesn’t seem to stand out among the worst storms that Costa Rica has faced.
Last edited by GSBHurricane on Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#2 Postby Cleveland Kent Evans » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:01 am

GSBHurricane wrote:I’ve seen a lot of threads around here that ask which names that weren’t retired should have been. But, I’ve never really seen the other way around. So I think I will be the one to ask. Note, this is just my opinion.



Fabian 2003 - Don’t jump me for this. I know it caused a fair amount of damage to Bermuda but I just don’t think 8 deaths is retirement worthy.



Just to point out: 8 deaths in Bermuda in 2003 would be equivalent to 3,683 deaths in the United States in 2003, based on their respective populations that year. I can certainly see why Bermudans would want to "jump on you" for that.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#3 Postby GSBHurricane » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:16 am

Cleveland Kent Evans wrote:
GSBHurricane wrote:I’ve seen a lot of threads around here that ask which names that weren’t retired should have been. But, I’ve never really seen the other way around. So I think I will be the one to ask. Note, this is just my opinion.



Fabian 2003 - Don’t jump me for this. I know it caused a fair amount of damage to Bermuda but I just don’t think 8 deaths is retirement worthy.



Just to point out: 8 deaths in Bermuda in 2003 would be equivalent to 3,683 deaths in the United States in 2003, based on their respective populations that year. I can certainly see why Bermudans would want to "jump on you" for that.

Not sure if that's a fair comparison. Bermuda belonged to the UK then and still does today. Maybe a better way to judge would be to compare the US and UK populations? Or since Bermuda had a population of 63,000, you could compare it to Washington DC, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or any major US city? Anyway, I feel like a storm should have at least 10 deaths for its retirement request to be accepted. But that's just me.
Last edited by GSBHurricane on Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#4 Postby EquusStorm » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:24 am

I can find arguments to generally agree with these. Could also play devils advocate, but yeah. Just more proof that retirement is weirdly arbitrary. I would also add that since a lot of damage attributed to Ingrid 2013 was probably due to the larger weather system, and damages were far lighter than that of the non-retired Karl of 2010, its retirement was very unexpected. Erika 2015 was devastating but had it happened after Maria, in comparison it would have perhaps made slightly less impact. Tomas 2010 was only really justified in St Lucia and maybe Curacao, and even then the death toll wasn't extreme; most deaths were in Haiti where a summer shower can kill dozens so it certainly doesn't meet historic criteria there

A death toll of 8 is very small in ANY country, Bermuda no exception. Still unfortunate but only the damage make me feel it was justified. Honestly, most French, Costa Rica and Canadian owned locales seem to request retirement for far less damage than others. I recall (though can't recall where it was sourced) that France wanted the name Frances axed after 2004 regardless of the damage simply... because of the name.
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...but still, though, a lot more interesting than the 2013 season.

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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#5 Postby Cleveland Kent Evans » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:28 am

GSBHurricane wrote:Not sure if that's a fair comparison. Bermuda belonged to the UK then and still does today. Maybe a better way to judge would be to compare the US and UK populations? Or since Bermuda had a population of 63,000, you could compare it to Washington DC, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or any major US city? Anyway, I feel like a storm should have at least 10 deaths from the country/countries that request it for its request to be accepted. But that's just me.


Bermuda may "belong" to the UK but it is not an integral part of the UK the way Hawaii is part of the USA -- or the way Guadeloupe and Martinique are legally part of France. Bermuda is an "overseas territory" of the UK and citizens of British overseas territories don't even have the automatic right to live or work in the UK, which makes them less citizens of the UK than Puerto Ricans are citizens of the USA. And when there is a request for the retirement of the name of a storm which affects Bermuda, it comes from the Bermudan government, not from the UK government.

https://www.gov.uk/types-of-british-nat ... es-citizen
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#6 Postby GSBHurricane » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:16 pm

EquusStorm wrote:I can find arguments to generally agree with these. Could also play devils advocate, but yeah. Just more proof that retirement is weirdly arbitrary. I would also add that since a lot of damage attributed to Ingrid 2013 was probably due to the larger weather system, and damages were far lighter than that of the non-retired Karl of 2010, its retirement was very unexpected. Erika 2015 was devastating but had it happened after Maria, in comparison it would have perhaps made slightly less impact. Tomas 2010 was only really justified in St Lucia and maybe Curacao, and even then the death toll wasn't extreme; most deaths were in Haiti where a summer shower can kill dozens so it certainly doesn't meet historic criteria there

A death toll of 8 is very small in ANY country, Bermuda no exception. Still unfortunate but only the damage make me feel it was justified. Honestly, most French, Costa Rica and Canadian owned locales seem to request retirement for far less damage than others. I recall (though can't recall where it was sourced) that France wanted the name Frances axed after 2004 regardless of the damage simply... because of the name.

Ingrid was because both it from the Gulf of Mexico and Manuel from the Pacific hit Mexico at the same time and worsened each others affects. Had they hit separately, I'd agree that Ingrid shouldn't have been retired. And Karl, despite causing $3.9 billion in damage, only killed 22 people and Veracruz is one of Mexico's wealthiest states so I'm guessing they could sustain more damage than other parts of the country. Erika would probably still be retired if it hit after Maria because its damage to Dominica was almost equal to that of its GDP and would've held back recovery efforts from Maria.

Tomas I'm on the fence with. On one hand it was the worst storm to hit St. Lucia since Allen in 1980 and one of the worst to hit Curacao. $450 million or so may not seem like a lot but their economies are a lot more fragile than Bermuda and Canada. On the other hand, it only killed 9 people between both countries. Then again, it killed 35 in Haiti but they didn't ask for its retirement. Maybe the 35 could just be direct deaths. Tens if not hundreds of even thousands could have died indirectly from Tomas because it worsened the cholera outbreak there. So for me that one is a coin flip.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#7 Postby GSBHurricane » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:18 pm

Cleveland Kent Evans wrote:
GSBHurricane wrote:Not sure if that's a fair comparison. Bermuda belonged to the UK then and still does today. Maybe a better way to judge would be to compare the US and UK populations? Or since Bermuda had a population of 63,000, you could compare it to Washington DC, Miami, New Orleans, New York, or any major US city? Anyway, I feel like a storm should have at least 10 deaths from the country/countries that request it for its request to be accepted. But that's just me.


Bermuda may "belong" to the UK but it is not an integral part of the UK the way Hawaii is part of the USA -- or the way Guadeloupe and Martinique are legally part of France. Bermuda is an "overseas territory" of the UK and citizens of British overseas territories don't even have the automatic right to live or work in the UK, which makes them less citizens of the UK than Puerto Ricans are citizens of the USA. And when there is a request for the retirement of the name of a storm which affects Bermuda, it comes from the Bermudan government, not from the UK government.

https://www.gov.uk/types-of-british-nat ... es-citizen

My apologies for the misunderstanding about the Bermuda government. Anyway I still think Fabian could've slipped by because the $300 million in damage there was considered moderate due to high GDP per capita and building codes. Same with Canada regarding Juan and Igor which both caused $200 million in damage there and killed less than 5 people each.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#8 Postby EquusStorm » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:14 pm

True, they're all valid cases but perhaps less clear-cut than a lot of retirements. Ingrid without Manuel or vice-versa would have made less of a case, and even a small shift in rainfall patterns with Erika would have made it just a wet few days in the Lesser Antilles. Just a little change in context makes a big difference. Tomas' impacts and aftermaths in the south and eastern Caribbean is certainly enough to make it warranted when the damage and death tolls are taken into context, but I think most of us were expecting Karl and not Tomas to get the axe that year just judging by numbers only on the surface lol.
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...but still, though, a lot more interesting than the 2013 season.

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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#9 Postby CrazyC83 » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:16 pm

To a small country, the kind of numbers we saw would be like Katrina to them. I'd say the least warranted ones were Elena and Lili, the rest were all among the worst on record for their countries. Lenny was a really bad storm for the NE Caribbean (not Irma or Maria bad, but still bad).
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#10 Postby EquusStorm » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:10 pm

Huh, well now that it's put that way, I feel kinda dumb because I honestly never thought too deeply about the percentage of GDP in destructive Caribbean storms; $300-500 million in flood/wind/infrastructure damage is probably enough to set many of them back many years even though it'd barely be a blip on the charts in the US. I'd love to see a study in destructive hurricane landfalls as a percentage of GDP - it might make a lot of the marginal storms seem a lot more catastrophic. I'd almost take that on if I had more time because it would be fascinating.
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...but still, though, a lot more interesting than the 2013 season.

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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#11 Postby Hammy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:15 pm

I don't think it's particularly fair to say the overall death toll should be the only determinant, which is what this at least implies--the damage total matters and the impacts to the areas also need taken into account rather than looking at it from an outside perspective. I can see the reasons for each of the ones listed:

Elena's damage was quite high for 1985, not to mention the disruption to the coastal communities, having to essentially evacuate twice for it (though I agree Juan should have been retired as well--I've failed to find any valid reason why it wasn't.)

Klaus caused extensive flooding damage to Martinique, a very small island in which everyone felt the full brunt.

Lenny caused heavy damage to St Martin and Anguilla as it sat over both islands for days.

Lili probably makes the least sense in relation to the country that requested it, but if I remember it was destructive in the Caribbean as well.

for Fabian, see the reasons listed from other posters, they covered it fairly well.

Juan was, I believe, the most destructive hurricane to hit Canada (and one of the strongest, if not the strongest) so I see no reason it shouldn't have been retired.

Paloma's effects on Cuba and the Caymans warranted retirement.

Joaquin caused severe damage to the Bahamas (the country that requested it, I believe) as it went over several islands as a Cat 4.

Likewise, Otto was fairly destructive for Costa Rica as well, and was deserving of retirement.

I'll leave Igor to others, as I'm pretty unfamiliar with the effects it produced in Bermuda.


All of that said, I think there are more storms that should have been retired that weren't, including Edith (which I don't believe was formally retired), Juan (in 1985), Bret/Gert (1993), Gordon (1994), and (though debatable) Fay in 2008.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#12 Postby GSBHurricane » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:20 pm

Hammy wrote:I don't think it's particularly fair to say the overall death toll should be the only determinant, which is what this at least implies--the damage total matters and the impacts to the areas also need taken into account rather than looking at it from an outside perspective. I can see the reasons for each of the ones listed:

Elena's damage was quite high for 1985, not to mention the disruption to the coastal communities, having to essentially evacuate twice for it (though I agree Juan should have been retired as well--I've failed to find any valid reason why it wasn't.)

Klaus caused extensive flooding damage to Martinique, a very small island in which everyone felt the full brunt.

Lenny caused heavy damage to St Martin and Anguilla as it sat over both islands for days.

Lili probably makes the least sense in relation to the country that requested it, but if I remember it was destructive in the Caribbean as well.

for Fabian, see the reasons listed from other posters, they covered it fairly well.

Juan was, I believe, the most destructive hurricane to hit Canada (and one of the strongest, if not the strongest) so I see no reason it shouldn't have been retired.

Paloma's effects on Cuba and the Caymans warranted retirement.

Joaquin caused severe damage to the Bahamas (the country that requested it, I believe) as it went over several islands as a Cat 4.

Likewise, Otto was fairly destructive for Costa Rica as well, and was deserving of retirement.

I'll leave Igor to others, as I'm pretty unfamiliar with the effects it produced in Bermuda.


All of that said, I think there are more storms that should have been retired that weren't, including Edith (which I don't believe was formally retired), Juan (in 1985), Bret/Gert (1993), Gordon (1994), and (though debatable) Fay in 2008.


I believe Joaquin was requested by the US for retirement, not the Bahamas.
http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/l ... 5-rec.docx

Anyway, I believe personally that retirement should be reserved for those that went above and beyond in any given country, kind of like how sports jersey numbers are retired by various sports teams. I don’t want to see tha Atlantic turn into AUS/SPAC where names are retired just for any land impact. The lists of retired names in those basins are up the wazoo.
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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#13 Postby EquusStorm » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:21 pm

The thing is, do people in the affected areas today still talk about Gert, Bret, Edith, etc.? (They very well might honestly, I really don't know) I think the consensus with a lot of people is that any storm that even causes more than a moderate handful deaths or a few hundreds of millions US GDP equivalent (which would be lower than $50-100m in many countries) should be retired but honestly I usually disagree with lists that show a dozen or more old storms that 'should' have been retired. I am fully aware I'm in the minority here; many basins retire practically any storm that has moderate land impact. The original reason for retiring names if I recall was to prevent confusion in the future about a truly historic storm that people would remember from their tremendous impact. If affected countries didn't request retirement and are WMO members that are capable of doing so, then I see no reason to try to strike a name from the list just because the storm seemed significant on the outside when it wasn't even important enough for the affected country at the WMO meeting to bring up, IF they were able to and remembered. I WILL say though, having a storm with only moderate impact occurring multiple times (Emily, good lord) does get confusing lol. If we had a crap-ton more names to choose from, we could do what some South Pacific basins do and only use names once, but we're reaaally running low on certain lettered names yet.

I honestly can't remember if Edith was retired; I don't think it was but I thiiiink we were on a ten year cycle then set for 1981 after the 1971 season so it wasn't super relevant since we changed over in 1979
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...but still, though, a lot more interesting than the 2013 season.

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Re: Names that Should NOT Have Been Retired

#14 Postby GSBHurricane » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:34 pm

EquusStorm wrote:The thing is, do people in the affected areas today still talk about Gert, Bret, Edith, etc.? (They very well might honestly, I really don't know) I think the consensus with a lot of people is that any storm that even causes more than a moderate handful deaths or a few hundreds of millions US GDP equivalent (which would be lower than $50-100m in many countries) should be retired but honestly I usually disagree with lists that show a dozen or more old storms that 'should' have been retired. I am fully aware I'm in the minority here; many basins retire practically any storm that has moderate land impact. The original reason for retiring names if I recall was to prevent confusion in the future about a truly historic storm that people would remember from their tremendous impact. If affected countries didn't request retirement and are WMO members that are capable of doing so, then I see no reason to try to strike a name from the list just because the storm seemed significant on the outside when it wasn't even important enough for the affected country at the WMO meeting to bring up, IF they were able to and remembered. I WILL say though, having a storm with only moderate impact occurring multiple times (Emily, good lord) does get confusing lol. If we had a crap-ton more names to choose from, we could do what some South Pacific basins do and only use names once, but we're reaaally running low on certain lettered names yet.

I honestly can't remember if Edith was retired; I don't think it was but I thiiiink we were on a ten year cycle then set for 1981 after the 1971 season so it wasn't super relevant since we changed over in 1979

Edith wasn't retired after its 1971 incarnation. And I do think we need a somewhat stricter criteria for retirement. Either the vote HAS to be unanimous instead of just the majority or $100 million in damage (keeping the Caribbean islands in mind) AND 10 deaths or something like that. Odd that no one else has wondered what the voting breakdown for retiring each name was. That’s something I’d like to explore one day.
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