Hurricane Ian retired from hurricane list

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Ian nearing landfall in Southwest Florida on Sept. 28, 2022. Ian will most likely be a retired hurricane name on Wednesday. (NOAA via AP) (Uncredited)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Ian is in the history books permanently.

The World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, met Wednesday and decided the name Ian will be retired, never to be used again.

Hurricane Fiona was also retired.

How storms are retired

The WMO sets the name lists for tropical systems across the world.

In the Atlantic basin, a series of six name lists are used in rotation.

The names repeat themselves every six years, which is why you may remember named storms like Arlene and Arthur multiple times over a generation.

2022 storm name list. This list will return in 2028.

When storms become intense and create significant damage and fatalities, the name is pulled from the list and retired.

The name is removed to reduce confusion among major systems and to show the impact of the system.

There have now been 97 storms that have been retired. Significant storms like Andrew, Katrina and Irma have been retired and the name will never be used again.

Why Ian gets retired

Ian was retired due to its widespread devastation and high death toll.

The major hurricane roared ashore in Southwest Florida on Sept. 28, 2022, as a high-end Category 4 major hurricane.

Ian was responsible for at least 160 deaths and created catastrophic storm surge of 10-15 feet in and around Fort Myers.

Ian did extensive damage to Florida.

The hurricane produced historic flooding in Central Florida and battered the Northeast Florida coastline with high waves and surf.

Hurricane Fiona was also retired from the list.

Fiona, a Category 4 major hurricane that impacted Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Canadian Maritimes.

In 2021, only one named storm was retired: Ida, which impacted Louisiana.

What happens next?

Since Ian is retired, a new name was selected to replace the name.

The name must begin with the letter “I,” and must be a male name.

The Atlantic basin alternates male-female names, and the 2022 list features an H and J female name (Hermine and Julia).

The new “I” name is Idris.

Idris will be inserted into the master list, and the name will be used when the list is used again in the year 2028.

Farrah will replace Fiona in the 2028 list.

The “I” name storm is the most frequent name to be retired with 14 retired storms, including Ian.

The "I" named storm is the most frequently named storm retired.

“C” and “F” named storms are second, with both being retired nine times.

Ian is first storm to be retired after impacting Florida since Eta in 2020.

There is no doubt Ian is a historical hurricane, and retirement solidifies its position in weather history.

About the Author:

David Heckard is The Weather Authority's Assistant Chief Meteorologist.