In this aerial view, homes show some damage after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Sanibel, Florida. The hurricane brought high winds, storm surge and rain to the area causing severe damage. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

This can’t be good. The 2023 Hurricane Names list is out. It looks like it’s already time to start thinking about the hurricane season in Southwest Florida. But why did they have to name one of this year’s storms “Lee”? Like Lee County wasn’t punished enough last year, let’s go ahead and do this.

The National Hurricane Center is making a change to reporting of the storms for the 2023 season. Instead of the usual 5 day, they’re switching to a 7-day tropical weather outlook. More info and a longer timeline is always better. The yellow, orange, and red color coding for development will not change and we’ll still get regular updates at 2 p.m., 8 p.m., 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. EDT.

As far as the names go, they use a list that repeats every 6 years minus the really bad ones. The 2017 season was ugly. The season featured 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes. Three of the names that year were retired, Harvey, Irma and Maria. You’ll certainly remember Irma as it hit Southwest Florida near Marco Island as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph. The name ‘Irma’ has been retired. Then there was last year’s Ian.  This year’s ‘I’ storm will be named Idalia. I’m not sure how to pronounce that and here’s to hoping we don’t have to learn.

Here’s the 2023 Hurricane Names, and a fact about that last time each name was used.

  • Arlene

    In 2017, Tropical Storm Arlene formed on April 16. It was not a major storm, but it kinda let us know what was coming.

  • Bret

    The 2017 version of Bret targeted Venezuela in June.

  • Cindy

    The 2017 Tropical Storm Cindy targeted  Louisiana, spawned tornadoes, and killed 3. 

  • Don

    In July of 2017, Tropical Storm Don formed but didn’t last.

  • Emily

    2017 Emily directed effected us. Heavy rainfall produced by Emily caused widespread flooding in Polk and Pinellas counties. Coastal flooding was reported in HillsboroughManateeSarasotaLee, and Collier counties, causing additional road closures. A tornado touched down Bradenton, destroying two barns and multiple greenhouses. The storm indirectly led to flooding in Miami where 6.97 in of rain fell in 3.5 hours. 

  • Franklin

    The 2017 Hurricane Franklin hit central America on July 27th.

  • Gert

    The 2017 Hurricane Gert skirted by North Carolina’s Outer Banks and then set it’s sights on – Ireland. That’s right, Gert looped all the way back around and was responsible for flooding in Ireland.

  • Harold

    Harold is new to list after the 2017 Harvey was retired. However, the name Harold has been used before. Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold was a very powerful tropical cyclone which caused widespread destruction in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, and Tonga during April 2020.

  • Idalia

    The next new name to the list. NOAA actually a pronunciation list. Idalia ee-DAL-ya. Maybe the I storm can skip us this year.

  • Jose

    2017 Hurricane Jose was massive and nearly a category 5.  But then, a large mid-latitude low-pressure area offshore Atlantic Canada and the circulation associated with Hurricane Irma resulted in the collapse of steering currents, causing Jose to decelerate and execute a cyclonic loop. Off to sea.

  • Katia

    Katia KAH-tyah

    In September of 2017,  Katia struck Mexico just days after a major earthquake struck the country

  • Lee

    On September 26, 2017 Hurricane Lee became a Cat 2 but was never a threat to land. I do wish, however, that NHC would consider not using the name seeing as how large portions of Lee County are still a mess from last year. It’s not like we need the reminder.

  • Margot

    A new name after the 2017 Maria name was retired. I’m assuming they picked the name Margot after watching Christmas Vacation. If a Hurricane Margot forms this year, I’d expect memes.

  • Nigel

    Clearly a Spinal Tap reference. Again, expect memes.


  • Ophelia

    In 2017, Ophelia went to the right. On October 16, Ophelia ceased to be a tropical cyclone after merging with a strong cold front about 310 mi  southwest of Mizen Head, Ireland. The extratropical low made landfall on the west coast of Ireland at Category 1-equivalent intensity later that day, several hours before striking northern Scotland

  • Phillipe

    Philippe fee-LEEP

    The 2017 Tropical Storm Philippe spawned three  tornadoes in southeastern Florida. One of those damaged dozens of homes in Boynton Beach, while another produced a wind gust of 74 mph in West Palm Beach.

  • Rina

    Rina REE-nuh

    2017 Tropical Storm Rina formed on November 7th and did not make landfall.

  • Sean

    Rina was the last named storm of 2017. The 2011 Tropical Storm Sean was the last named storm of 2011. It formed on November 8th and didn’t amount to much.

  • Tammy

    Let’s just hope we don’t get this far.

  • Vince

    Hopefully not needed.

  • Whitney

    That’s the last on the list. Here’s to hoping we don’t need them.

  • Resources

    Some info from Wikipedia was used. The names list comes from the National Hurricane Center. They’ve actually posted a preliminary list all the way through 2027 but will make updates if any of the names are retired.

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.