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What's in a Name: 'I' named storms own the longest list of notorious storms

Tropical storms and hurricanes that begin with the letter 'I' has had more names retired than any other letter. That list could grow due to Hurricane Ida.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Out of any letter in the alphabet, names that begin with the letter 'I' can be tagged infamous because it is this letter that has been retired more than any other name. Dating back to 1955, all 11 of these storms have placed their mark in history.

Retired 'I' Names:

Since 1954, there have been eleven retired ‘I’ names in the Atlantic Basin. The most of any letter. Here is the list in order from oldest to newest:

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

NOTE: Notice how nine of the eleven retired 'I' names have been over the last 20 years. Really shows the change in activity and strength of these types of storms in recent years.

One recent retired ‘I’ name you may remember was Irma back in 2017. This storm made two landfalls as a major hurricane in southwest Florida before impacting the Carolinas.

There are six lists of hurricane names that recycle every six years. Ida replaced Hurricane Isbael who was retired in 2003 because of widespread property damage and an extensive death toll.

Disaster aid totaled close to 516-million dollars, primarily in North Carolina and Virginia. In North Carolina, hundreds of residents were stranded in Hatteras following the formation of Isabel Inlet.

Also, between 2001 and 2004, four different ‘I’ names were retired. Those were Iris, Isidore, Isabel, and Ivan.

Credit: WCNC

The Earliest?:

The earliest ‘I’ name on record was Isaias during the historic 2020 hurricane season. It was only the 9th named storm to form in July and the first ‘I’ name to hold that title.

Hurricane Ida (2009-2021):

This is the third time Ida has formed. It first formed in 2009, peaking at category 2 strength and made landfall in Florida. The second time was in 2015 as a tropical storm, but this died out in the Atlantic. This very well could be the last time we hear the name Ida on a hurricane name list.

Credit: WCNC

The Gulf of Mexico is the #1 breeding ground for tropical cyclones in the month of August. So, it’s no surprise we are currently tracking Hurricane Ida.

RELATED: Ida rapidly intensifies into a hurricane, expected to make landfall in Louisiana as a Category 3

There’s a good chance this storm will be retired after making landfall this weekend. And this is not out of the ordinary.  

RELATED: FORECAST: No break in the heat this weekend, tracking Hurricane Ida

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