First i want to say how much I enjoy Greg Fishel's weather reports. He seems to be very knowledgeable and gives great insight as to why the weather is doing what it is doing. We moved from the snow belt in Ohio about 18 months ago so we are enjoying the NC weather tremendously! I am reading Peter Robinson's book on North Carolina weather and have come across the fact that starting this year they are repeating the names for hurricanes from 2002 and the hurricane names from 2003 in 2009 and so on. My question is why are they doing this? Thanks for taking time to read this and hopefully answering my question. Keep up the good work.
Posted August 2, 2008
MIKE MOSS SAYS: Sue, Thanks for the kind words, and even thought you've been here for a while now, welcome to the state!
The list of tropical storm/hurricane names for the Atlantic Basin is maintained by a regional subcommittee of the World Meteorological Organization. That group has had a long-standing policy of establishing six lists of names that are used on a rotating basis, beginning each season with the "A" name. So, a storm name used in 2000 could be used again in 2006 and so on, as you noted from the examples in Dr Robinson's book. The exeption is for storms that cause an especially large amount of fatalities or destruction. They can be nominated for retirement from the list of names so that, for example, Fran, Floyd, Katrina and Rita will never be used again and have been replaced by new names starting with the same letter.
In any year, should the list of names be exhausted, any further storms will be names with the Greek alphabet. You can read a nice summary of the entire naming process, along with all currently assigned names and procedures for storm basins worldwide, along with links to a list of retired names, at