Hurricane Fiona was the costliest weather event on record in Atlantic Canada, while Hurricane Ian was the third most devastating in the United States.
The death and destruction caused by hurricanes Fiona and Ian in North and Central America last year prompted the United Nations to remove these names from a rotating list of storm titles.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday that “Farrah” would replace “Fiona”, while “Idris” would replace “Ian”.
Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30, and the storms – also known as tropical cyclones – are named to make them easier to identify in warning messages.
They are given alternate male and female names in alphabetical order. Names are reused every six years, but if a hurricane is particularly devastating, its name is retired.
A total of 96 names have been removed from the hurricane list since the system was established in 1953, the WMO said.
Fiona was a tall, powerful and destructive Category 4 Atlantic Hurricanewhich hit communities in the West Indies, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, before hitting Canada as a powerful post-tropical cyclone in mid-September last year.
It is the costliest extreme weather event ever recorded in Atlantic Canada, according to the United Nations agency. It caused 29 deaths and caused over $3 billion in damages there and across the Caribbean.
It claimed more than 150 lives in the United States, almost all of them in Florida, where it made landfall on September 28.
Ian, which caused more than $112 billion in damage, was the costliest hurricane in Florida history and the third costliest in the United States.
Ian razed entire neighborhoods and knocked out power to millions. Storm surges and huge downpours swamped even inland neighborhoods.
The WMO said there are dozens of tropical cyclones named each year around the world, which over the past half-century have killed an average of 43 people and caused $78 million in losses every day.
And the situation is getting worse due to climate change, with scientists saying warming temperatures on the Earth’s surface amplify the effects of extreme weather disasters.
But the UN agency said the death toll had dropped significantly, thanks to improved forecasting, warning and disaster risk reduction efforts coordinated by the WMO’s Tropical Cyclone Programme.
In total, the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season produced 14 named tropical cyclones, with winds of 63 km/h (39 miles) or more, eight of which became hurricanes.
Fiona and Ian were the only ones to escalate into major hurricanes, with winds over 110 mph (178 km/h), according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s end-of-season tally.