FORT MYERS, Fla. -- What do the names Andrea, Jerry and Pablo have in common? Those are just three of the names you'll hear this upcoming hurricane season that starts in less than two weeks.
On the morning of September 14th, 2001, Gabrielle made landfall near Venice as a Tropical Storm. It produced five foot storm surge in Charlotte County and three and a half foot surge in Lee County. Sarasota was inundated with more than eight inches of rain. While Naples received three inches. Tropical storm force winds were widespread. Everglades City reported a peak gust of 61 knots.
Gabrielle is just one of the storm names you'll be hearing this hurricane season.
Have you ever wondered where the names for tropical storms and hurricanes come from? I'll give you a hint, not from Jim Farrell or the National Weather Service.
The World Meteorological Organization, made up of members from 26 countries, including personnel from NOAA's National Hurricane Center, creates six lists of names. The lists are used in rotation and recycled every six years.
That means the names in this year's list were also used in 2007, 2001 and beyond. Hence the reason we'll be hearing the name Gabrielle once again.
While Gabrielle was memorable, it wasn't considered devastating. The only time there is a change to the list of names is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name would be insensitive or confusing.
The most devastating storm this past season, and the second costliest in United States' history, was Hurricane Sandy. Because of the destruction it caused to Jamaica, Cuba and the United States, the World Meteorological Organization retired Sandy from the official list of names. For the 2018 hurricane season, the name "Sandy" will be replaced with "Sara."
How active is this upcoming season expected to be?
Hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University are predicting an above average season with 18 named storms. The average is 12. Of those 18 storms, 9 are projected to become hurricanes. Four of those major hurricanes, that's category 3 or higher.