The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced on Monday that the names Matthew and Otto would be retired from use as storm names during the Atlantic hurricane season.
The WMO maintains six lists of names that are used for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The names are reused every six years unless a particular storm is deemed to have been particularly destructive or deadly. Matthew and Otto, names used during the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, will be replaced by Martin and Owen, respectively, in 2022.
Hurricane Matthew achieved its peak intensity in late September 2016 over the central Caribbean Sea as a Category 5 hurricane with maximum winds of 160 miles per hour. Matthew weakened slightly to a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall in Haiti and Cuba. It would go on to make a third landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane.
585 deaths are attributed to Matthew, with more than 500 of those occurring in Haiti. An additional 47 deaths were reported in the U.S. Matthew was the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since Stan in 2005 (1,668 deaths).
Matthew is probably best remembered in Louisiana as the hurricane that resulted in the controversial postponement of the LSU-Florida football game scheduled for Oct.8, 2016.
Hurricane Otto was a unique late-season storm that made landfall in Costa Rica. In fact, it’s the first known hurricane to make landfall in that Central American country. Not only was Otto rare in its landfall location, it also survived the journey across Central America into the eastern Pacific. According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, it was only the fifth tropical cyclone to remain intact while moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the first to do so in 20 years.
Matthew and Otto are the 81st and 82nd names to be retired since 1954 in the Atlantic basin. Notable storms that have impacted Louisiana and had their names retired include: Audrey (1957), Hilda (1964), Betsy (1965), Camille (1969), Andrew (1992), Allison (2001), Isidore (2002), Lili (2002), Katrina (2005), Rita (2005), and Gustav (2008).