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Two 2010 Hurricane Names Retired

Igor was a classic Cape Verde hurricane , reaching Category 4 strength with 155 mph winds on Sept. 14, while located about 600 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands. The storm weakened to a Category 1 hurricane when it struck Bermuda on Sept. 19.

The names of two hurricanes, Igor and Tomas, have been retired by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) because of the deaths and damage they caused in 2010.

The names of tropical cyclones (the collective name for tropical storms and hurricanes) are retired by the WMO's hurricane committee if they have been deemed to have done enough damage that they should not be used again. Otherwise, storm names are repeated on a seven-year cycle.

A view of Hurricane Igor from NASA's Aqua satellite taken on Sept. 13. Igor shows all the characteristics of a strong hurricane, including a distinct eye and spiral arms spanning hundreds of kilometers. (Image credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC)

But then the storm grew and intensified as it traveled northward over the Atlantic Ocean, eventually making landfall on Sept. 21 near Cape Race, Newfoundland. It was the most damaging hurricane on that island in 75 years, causing an estimated $200 million in damage.

Tomas became a hurricane on Oct. 30 shortly after striking Barbados. It strengthened to a Category 2 storm, striking St. Vincent and St. Lucia. Fourteen people are confirmed as dead or missing on St. Lucia. Total damage there is estimated to be around $500 million.

The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra Satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Tomas over Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic at 15:30 UTC (11:30 a.m. EDT) on Nov. 5. (Image credit: NASA/MODIS Rapid Response Team)

After weakening to a tropical depression over the central Caribbean Sea, Tomas regained Category 1 strength on November 5 and moved between Jamaica and the southwest peninsula of Haiti, through the Windward Passage . It weakened just below hurricane strength before reaching the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Heavy rains associated with Tomas triggered floods and landslides in Haiti. Haiti's meteorological services stated that the death toll in Haiti was 35.

The names that will replace Igor and Tomas on the list, which will be used again in 2016, are Ian and Tobias.

Live Science Staff
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