GENEVA, Switzerland (KLFY/WFXR) — The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has officially retired the name “Ida” from the list of Atlantic hurricane names due to the destruction it caused in Louisiana in 2021.

Radar image at landfall on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2021.

The WMO said instead, the name “Imani” will be put into the rotation as an “I” name for hurricanes.

Hurricane names are rotated every six years unless a storm is so deadly its name gets retired, like Ida. The WMO said 94 names have been retired from the Atlantic hurricane list since 1953.

Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee, the WMO.

The original name lists featured only women’s names. In 1979, men’s names were introduced and they now alternate with the women’s names. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2021 list will be used again in 2027.

When it comes to named storms, 2021 was the third most active year ever, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There were so many strong storms, the WMO’s list of alphabetized names ran out of letters.

Ida, a category 4 hurricane, was 2021’s most destructive storm. The hurricane was responsible for 55 deaths directly and 32 deaths indirectly, according to the WMO.

Virginia saw significant effects from Ida. On Aug. 31, 2021, severe weather – including two tornadoes – came into the New River Valley. Heavy rain fell across the area as well with anywhere from three-to-five inches of rain fell in and around Danville with two-to four inches of rain falling in parts of Alleghany County as well as into the Roanoke Valley and into Southside.

Below is a chart of the rotation of Atlantic hurricane names:

202120222023202420252026Supplemental names
(Credit: WMO)

The “I”-named storm is typically an unlucky storm. Since hurricanes started being assigned names in 1950, there have been 13 I-named storms that have been retired — more than any other letter. Those retired I-named storms include:

  • Ione (1955)
  • Inez (1966)
  • Iris (2001)
  • Isadore (2002)
  • Isabel (2003)
  • Ivan (2004)
  • Ike (2008)
  • Igor (2010)
  • Irene (2011)
  • Ingrid (2013)
  • Irma (2017)
  • Iota (2020)
  • Ida (2021)

When there are so many storms the list is exhausted from A to W, the World Meteorological Organization has switched to using Greek letters in the past. However, the organization decided to end that practice last year, calling it confusing.

Starting this hurricane season, if the primary list is exhausted, the list of supplemental names (above) will be used after “Walter.”