There will never be another Hurricane Sandy – at least not in name. The World Meteorological Organization has announced that it is officially retiring the name from its list of Atlantic cyclones.
The WMO is responsible for naming tropical storms and hurricanes around the world. It maintains a set of six rotating lists for each hurricane-prone region. After a six-year cycle, names are re-used. Names are only retired when a storm was particularly noteworthy – causing a large number of fatalities or an extraordinary amount of damage. In terms of Sandy, the late October storm claimed the lives of 72 people and caused more than $50 billion worth of damage in the United States alone.
Sandy is the 77th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since the current naming system began in 1953. It will be replaced with Sara beginning in 2018, when last year’s list is recycled. Some other retired Atlantic Basin names include: Andrew, Katrina, and Irene.