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Within the Pacific Ocean, the name of any significant tropical cyclone can be retired from the tropical cyclone naming lists by the World Meteorological Organization if it is felt that a storm is so deadly or damaging that the future use of its name would be inappropriate. Storm names can also be retired for other reasons, such as being very similar to another retired name or because it might suggest an undesirable meaning in another language. Within the Eastern and Central Pacific basins, a total of eighteen names have been removed from the official lists. The deadliest system to have its name retired was Hurricane Pauline, which caused over 230 fatalities when it struck Mexico during October 1997, while the costliest hurricane was Hurricane Manuel which caused an economic impact of over $4.2 billion in damage in September 2013. Patricia was the most recent Pacific tropical cyclone to have its name retired, due to its exceptional intensity.
In 1950 a tropical cyclone that affected Hawaii was named Able, after a tropical cyclone had not affected Hawaii for a number of years. The system subsequently became widely known as Hurricane Hiki, since Hiki is Hawaiian for Able. Typhoons Olive and Della of 1952 and 1957, respectively, developed within the Central Pacific, but were not named until they had crossed the International Dateline and moved into the Western Pacific basin. During 1957, two other tropical cyclones developed in the Central Pacific and were named Kanoa and Nina by the Hawaiian military meteorological offices. It was subsequently decided that future tropical cyclones would be named by borrowing names from the Western Pacific naming lists.
Within the Eastern Pacific basin the naming of tropical cyclones started in 1960, with four sets of female names initially designed to be used consecutively before being repeated. In 1965 after two lists of names had been used, it was decided to return to the top of the second list and to start recycling the sets of names on an annual basis. In 1977 after protests by various women's rights groups, NOAA made the decision to relinquish control over the name selection by allowing a regional committee of the WMO to select new sets of names. The WMO selected six lists of names which contained male names and rotated every six years. They also decided that the new lists of hurricane name would start to be used in 1978 which was a year earlier than the Atlantic. Since 1978 the same lists of names have been used, with names of significant tropical cyclones removed from the lists and replaced with new names.
During 1979, after ten names had been borrowed from the Western Pacific naming lists, Hawaiian names were reinstated for tropical cyclones developing into tropical storms forming in the Central Pacific. Five sets of Hawaiian names, using only the 12 letters of the Hawaiian alphabet, were drafted with the intent being to use the sets of names on an annual rotation basis. However, after no storms had developed in this region between 1979 and 1981, the annual lists were scrapped and replaced with four sets of names and designed to be used consecutively. Ahead of the 2007 hurricane season, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC) and the Hawaii State Civil Defense requested that the hurricane committee retire eleven names from the Eastern Pacific naming lists. However, the committee declined the request and noted that its criteria for the retirement of names was "well defined and very strict." It was felt that while the systems may have had a significant impact on the Hawaiian Islands, none of the impacts were major enough to warrant the retirement of the names. It was also noted that the Committee had previously not retired names for systems that had a greater impact than those that had been submitted. The CPHC also introduced a revised set of Hawaiian names for the Central Pacific, after they had worked with the University of Hawaii Hawaiian Studies Department to ensure the correct meaning and appropriate historical and cultural use of the names.
The practice of retiring significant names was started during 1955 by the United States Weather Bureau in the Atlantic basin, after hurricanes Carol, Edna, and Hazel struck the Northeastern United States and caused a significant amount of damage in the previous year. Initially the names were only designed to be retired for ten years after which they might be reintroduced, however, it was decided at the 1969 Interdepartmental hurricane conference that any significant hurricane in the future would have its name permanently retired. Several names have been removed from the Pacific naming lists for various reasons other than for causing a significant amount of death/destruction, which include being pronounced in a very similar way to other names and for political reasons.
Within the Eastern Pacific basin - between the western coasts of the Americas and 140°W - fourteen names have been retired since naming started in the region in 1960. Prior to the start of the modern naming lists in 1978, the names Hazel and Adele were retired from the list of names for reasons that are not clear. The name Fico was subsequently retired after the system had affected Hawaii in 1978, while the name Knut was removed after being used in 1987 for unknown reasons having barely reaching tropical storm strength. In 1989 the name Iva was removed as it was pronounced very similarly to Hurricane Iwa, which was retired from the Central Pacific lists of names in 1982 after affecting Hawaii. In the early 1990s the names Fefa and Ismael were both retired after they affected Hawaii and Northern Mexico, respectively. Hurricane Pauline became the deadliest Eastern Pacific hurricane, and its name was retired after it affected Mexico in 1997.
The names Adolph and Israel were subsequently retired for political considerations, after a tiff brewed over the use of their names at the start of the 2001 season. The name Kenna was retired in 2003 after it became one of the most intense Pacific hurricanes ever recorded. The name Alma was retired in 2009 after it had become the first Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record to make landfall along the Pacific Coast of Central America. The name Manuel was retired in 2014, after it became the first Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in mainland Mexico, redevelop over water, and become a hurricane. At the 2015 hurricane committee meeting the name Odile was retired from the list of names after it became the first major hurricane to affect Baja California in 25 years. The name Isis was also pre-emptively retired from the lists of names for 2016, as it was deemed inappropriate to be used because of the Islamic extremist rebel group.
|Name||Dates active||Peak classification||Sustained
|Hazel||September 24 – 26, 1965||Tropical storm||60 mph (95 km/h)||986 hPa (29.12 inHg)||Mexico||$10 million||6|||
|Adele||May 30 – June 7, 1970||Category 1 hurricane||85 mph (140 km/h)||≤992 hPa (29.29 inHg)||None||None||None|||
|Fico||July 9 – 28, 1978||Category 4 hurricane||145 mph (220 km/h)||955 hPa (28.20 inHg)||Hawaii||$200 thousand||None|||
|Knut||August 28 – 30, 1987||Tropical storm||40 mph (65 km/h)||Not Specified||None||None||None|||
|Iva||August 5 – 13, 1988||Category 2 hurricane||105 mph (165 km/h)||968 hPa (28.59 inHg)||None||None||None|||
|Fefa||July 29 – August 8, 1991||Category 3 hurricane||120 mph (195 km/h)||959 hPa (28.32 inHg)||Hawaii||None||None|
|Ismael||September 12 – 16, 1995||Category 1 hurricane||80 mph (130 km/h)||983 hPa (29.03 inHg)||Northern Mexico||$26 million||116|
|Pauline||October 5 – 10, 1997||Category 4 hurricane||130 mph (215 km/h)||948 hPa (27.99 inHg)||Oaxaca, Guerrero||$448 million||230-400|
|Adolph||May 25 – June 1, 2001||Category 4 hurricane||145 mph (230 km/h)||940 hPa (27.76 inHg)||Western Mexico||None||None|||
|Kenna||October 22 – 26, 2002||Category 5 hurricane||165 mph (270 km/h)||913 hPa (26.96 inHg)||Western Mexico
Southwestern United States
|Alma||May 29 – 30, 2008||Tropical storm||65 mph (100 km/h)||994 hPa (29.35 inHg)||Nicaragua||$33 million||9|||
|Manuel||September 13 – 19, 2013||Category 1 hurricane||75 mph (120 km/h)||983 hPa (29.03 inHg)||Western Mexico||$4.2 billion||123|||
|Odile||September 10 – 18, 2014||Category 4 hurricane||140 mph (220 km/h)||918 hPa (27.11 inHg)||Baja California Peninsula||$1.22 billion||15|||
|Patricia||October 20 – 24, 2015||Category 5 hurricane||215 mph (345 km/h)||872 hPa (25.75 inHg)||Central America, Mexico, Texas||$460 million||13|||
|14 names||References:[nb 1][nb 2]||$6.5 billion||564|
Within the Central Pacific basin—between 140°W and the International Date Line at 180°—four names have been retired since the introduction of the modern naming list for the basin in 1979. Hurricanes Iwa and Iniki were retired after impacting Hawaii, while Paka and Ioke were retired after the affecting various islands in Micronesia.[nb 3]
|Name||Dates active||Peak classification||Sustained
|Iwa||November 19 – 25, 1982||Category 1 hurricane||90 mph (150 km/h)||968 hPa (28.59 inHg)||Hawaii||$312 million||4|||
|Iniki||September 5 – 13, 1992||Category 4 hurricane||145 mph (220 km/h)||938 hPa (27.70 inHg)||Hawaii||$3.1 billion||6|||
|Paka||November 28 – December 23, 1997||Category 5 super typhoon||185 mph (295 km/h)||920 hPa (27.17 inHg)||Marshall Islands, Guam,
|$584 million||None||[nb 4]|
|Ioke||August 20 – September 9, 2006||Category 5 hurricane||160 mph (260 km/h)||915 hPa (27.02 inHg)||Johnston Atoll, Wake Island||$88 million||None|||
|4 names||References:[nb 3][nb 2]||$4.08 billion||10|