MIAMI - The World Meteorological Organization retired two names from the 2018 hurricane season, Florence and Michael.
Major Hurricane Florence
At the end of August, a tropical wave exiting Africa was labeled as a potential tropical storm, prompting warnings for the Cape Verde islands. It would eventually become Florence and wreak havoc in the Carolinas and Virginia.
The long-lived storm made landfall Sept. 14 and moved so slowly it became the wettest hurricane for the state of North Carolina, producing almost 36 inches of rain and the eighth wettest tropical cyclone in the contiguous United States. Florence was one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to hit the Carolinas. At least 57 deaths were attributed to Florence, which left over $24 billion in damages.
#Florence: To put it in context, that's like having tropical storm-force winds continuously in an area from Ft. Lauderdale to Cape Canaveral. Now imagine having these winds, for about 36 hours. Can you imagine the storm surge!?— Irene Sans (@IreneSans) September 14, 2018
Read more here: https://t.co/EMmXYnNy8U
Florence made landfall as an immense Category 1 hurricane after quickly losing its major Category 4 status in a couple of days due to strong wind shear. Despite its weakening, the size and forward motion of the storm, at one point moving between 2 and 3 mph, produced devastating floods, uprooted trees and left millions without power.
5pm Thursday: Hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles from center TS-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles. Check out how the wind field will remain large #Florence— Irene Sans (@IreneSans) September 13, 2018
Vientos huracanados se extienden 80 millas del centro & de tormenta tropical 195 millas del centro. pic.twitter.com/xmzodyFfQa
Major Hurricane Michael
At the beginning of October, a tropical disturbance over the northwestern Caribbean caused heavy rains and extensive flooding in parts of Central America, the Yucatan Peninsula and the Cayman Islands. The system continued traveling northward, entering the very warm Gulf of Mexico and rapidly intensifying, reaching major Category 4 hurricane status with winds of 155 mph. Its barometric pressure also set a record. Michael is the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane, based on pressure, to hit the United States. Michael was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle and the fourth strongest to hit the U.S. based on wind speed.
#Michael makes landfall just to the NW of Mexico Beach, Fl. 155 mph & 919mb.— Irene Sans (@IreneSans) October 10, 2018
3rd lowest pressure hurricane to make landfall in U.S. on record!
Michael toca tierra al NO de Mexico Beach, FL.
3er huracán con la presión más baja en llegar a EE.UU pic.twitter.com/Yj1oSKG8kk
Michael made landfall as a very strong Category 4 hurricane, leaving over 1.2 million people without power. The violent winds devastated communities and even Tyndall Air Force Base, located near Mexico Beach, where the storm officially made landfall. Vehicles were tossed, roofs flipped, forests flattened and several fighter jets were damaged.
There are 72 deaths attributed to Michael, and it left over $25 billion in damages.
The replacement names
Eighty-eight names have been retired from the Atlantic list since meteorologists started naming hurricanes in 1953. Florence will be replaced by Francine and Michael by Milton. The next time you see these new names on a list will be in 2024. Atlantic hurricane season name lists are in a six-year rotation. Hurricane names are retired after they have caused great devastation and deaths.
Hurricane #Michael is making landfall along the Florida panhandle. @RMcCranieWFTV is LIVE in Cedar Key with conditions there starting at 4 on @WFTV @TTerryWFTV @BShieldsWFTV @GWaldenWFTV @ebonideonwftv @IreneSans pic.twitter.com/r3E8y8trIK— WFTV Channel 9 (@WFTV) October 10, 2018