The storm names Florence and Michael have officially been retired by the World Meteorological Organization’s Region IV Hurricane Committee, which includes the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Florence hit Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 14, 2018. The storm claimed 51 lives and caused severe flooding in much of the Carolinas and Virginia. It is considered one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the Carolinas.
Soon after Florence, Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 10, 2018. With sustained winds of 155 mph and 45 fatalities it is considered one of the most intense hurricanes in the United States.
Storm names are on a six-year rotation schedule. However, names are removed from the list when a storm causes substantial damage and the future use of the name could be considered insensitive. Including these two, 88 names have been retired from the Atlantic basin list since 1953, when storms began to be named.
The names Florence and Michael have been replaced with Francine and Milton, and will appear for the first time in 2024.