Weather Blog

WMO retires hurricane names Igor, Tomas

WMO retires hurricane names Igor, Tomas
Photo of Hurricane Igor as seen from space. By: NASA/Astronaut Douglas Wheelock (Twitter: @Astro_Wheels)

If you were a fan of the hurricane name 'Igor' you are now out of luck.

The names Igor and Tomas were just retired by the World Meteorological Organization because of the damage they caused during the 2010 season. Names are retired from time to time when they do great damage and to avoid confusion.

There are six lists of hurricane names used in rotation in the Atlantic and Caribbean region. When the 2010 list comes around again in 2016, Igor and Tomas will be replaced by Ian and Tobias.

Last year was a busy season with 19 named storms, but only two of them entered the United States. Bonnie crossed the southern tip of Florida as a tropical storm and then weakened to a depression before reaching Louisiana in July. Hermine made landfall in Texas as a tropical storm in September.

Igor struck Bermuda on Sept. 19 and then veered north, striking Cape Race, Newfoundland, on Sept. 21 where it killed three people and was the most damaging hurricane to strike there in 75 years.

Tomas became a hurricane on Oct. 30 after striking Barbados. It went on to affect Haiti - where 35 died in flooding and landslides - Jamaica, the Turks and Caicos Islands and St. Lucia, where 14 people were killed.

It's still a super secret these days how the World Meteorological Organization comes up with new names to replace retired ones. The criteria is that it has to be easily understood and the names typically are picked from nationalities that could be affected by a hurricane -- in the Atlantic Ocean's case that could include French, Spanish, Anglican and even Dutch names since those nationalities are represented in the Caribbean and North American east coast.

But the running joke is that the names that typically carry more weight to making the list probably belong to ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends of those on the panel :)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.