Dorian not retired as a hurricane name... yet

The WMO Hurricane Committee’s meeting was shortened this year

The eye of major Hurricane Dorian approaching Abaco Island, Bahamas, on September 1, 2019, as seen by NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite. (NOAA)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The names of hurricanes that do extensive damage, especially those that prove deadly, are usually retired, or removed from the list of names we rotate through over the seasons. That way no one has to live through a second Hurricane Hugo or Hurricane Michael.

Hurricane names are managed by the world Meteorological Organization’s Hurricane Committee, they meet once a year over the course of a week to discuss the past season, and the upcoming season. They decide if any storm names should be retired, and if so, what the replacement names should be.

In the past they have moved away from all hurricane names being female names, and have tried to include more diverse names as well.

89 names of hurricanes or tropical storms have been retired previously. Dorian was expected to be the 90th name retired, but that did not happen at this year’s meeting.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the committee did not travel to meet for a week, instead they held a conference call. The shortened meeting duration forced them to prioritize their topics, and chose to focus on the upcoming season, tabling the discussions on the previous year until the next year’s meeting.

Assuming they are able to meet next year, the name Dorian will be retired at that time.

“Considerations for 2019 storm name retirements were not completed and will be addressed at the 2021 meeting (43rd session), as the 2019 names will not be used again until 2025,” said Clare Nullis, Media Officer at the WMO.

The next meeting is scheduled for Spring of 2021 and at that time they will announce the name Dorian’s retirement and the replacement name.