‘Sandy’ Officially Retired from List of Atlantic Storm Names

April 16, 2013

“Sandy has been retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical cyclone names by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee because of the extreme impacts it caused from Jamaica and Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic United States in October 2012,” says an announcement on the web site of Miami’s National Hurricane Center.

The NHC explained that “storm names are reused every six years for both the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins. If a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of the name would be insensitive or confusing, the WMO hurricane committee, which includes personnel from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, may retire the name. Sandy is the 77th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954. The name will be replaced with ‘Sara’ beginning in 2018.”

The NHC described Sandy as a “classic late-season hurricane in the southwestern Caribbean Sea.” It made landfall as a category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) in Jamaica, and as a 115 mph [184 km/h] category 3 hurricane in eastern Cuba.

As Hurricane Sandy approached the eastern U.S, it “merged with a frontal system hours before making landfall as a post-tropical cyclone near Brigantine, N.J., and its size and strength caused catastrophic damage all along the mid-Atlantic shoreline.

“Because of its tremendous size, Sandy drove a catastrophic storm surge into the New Jersey and New York coastlines,” the NHC said. “Preliminary U.S. damage estimates are near $50 billion, making Sandy the second-costliest cyclone since Katrina to hit the United States. There were at least 147 direct deaths recorded across the Atlantic basin due to Sandy, with 72 of these fatalities occurring in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.

“Sandy caused the greatest number of U.S. direct fatalities related to a tropical cyclone outside of the southern states since Hurricane Agnes in 1972.”

Source: National Hurricane Center

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