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Why did the weather service reuse the name Bertha? We’ve already had a Bertha.

Si Cantwell
StarNews
In July 1996, a Hurricane Bertha hit Southeastern North Carolina. Keegan Gibbs and his father, Richard, were vacationing in Southport when the storm struck. StarNews file photo

Keegan Gibbs and his father, Richard, were vacationing in Southport when Hurricane Bertha hit in July 1996. StarNews file photo

Folks who lived in the Cape Fear area in 1996 remember Bertha well. The Category 2 storm struck between Wrightsville Beach and Topsail Island on July 12, the first July storm to strike the area since 1908, according to a MyReporter answer by Ben Steelman. It caused extensive damage to beaches in Pender County and elsewhere, and toppled the Ferris wheel at Carolina Beach.

So why did the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration allow the name to be used again in 2014?

The list of tropical storm names each year is created by a committee of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization. Click here to read the names for each year up to 2019.

The same organization controls which storm names are retired. Cesar, Fran and Hortense made the list in 1996, but not Bertha. Thus the name is available to be used again, and will probably remain so since the 2014 Bertha is now passing harmlessly off the East Coast of the United States after buffeting and drenching Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

RELATED LINKS:

NOAA: Tropical Cyclone Naming History and Retired Names

What are some famous local hurricanes?

Was Hurricane Sandy a male or female name? Will the name be retired?

 

 

 

User-contributed question by:
Jeff Taylor

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