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‘Sandy’ to be retired as hurricane name by World Meteorological Organization

Hurricane Sandy

Powered by article titled “‘Sandy’ to be retired as hurricane name by World Meteorological Organization” was written by Tom McCarthy, for on Friday 12th April 2013 15.06 UTC

The only good thing to be said about hurricane Sandy: it won’t ever be back.

The World Meteorological Organization has announced that it is retiring “Sandy” from its list of tropical storm names and replacing it with “Sara.”

The organization retires a name when a storm has been exceptionally destructive. Sandy killed at least 285 people in eight countries, counting both “direct” deaths and “indirect” deaths from such factors as heart attacks, house fires, electrocutions and vehicle accidents.

Preliminary estimates put the cost of damage from the storm in the United States alone at more than bn (final figures are to be released later this year).

Sandy is the 77th name for Atlantic hurricanes to be retired (a list of retired names is here). The most names ever retired in one year was five in 2005, including Katrina and Rita. Sandy is the only name to be retired from 2012. The decision was made at a World Meteorological Organization meeting in Curaçao, the Caribbean island nation.

Meteorologists use six sets of names for Atlantic storms. One set is used per year and the sets are recycled in order. The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs 1 June – 30 November, will use a set last used in 2007. It begins with “Andrea” and ends with “Wendy.”

The sets are only 21 names long, lacking names beginning with Q, U, X, Y and Z. If there are more than 21 storms in a season, storms are named after the letters of the Greek alphabet. The first time that happened since naming started in 1953 was during the 2005 season, which ended with the harmless tropical storm Zeta on 30 December. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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