All these storms happened last year, with Erika and Joaquin spinning up in the Atlantic and Patricia in the Northern Pacific.
Why will they be retired?
Anytime a system turns deadly or causes enormous damage, the name is taken out of rotation. That's why there will never be another Andrew, Katrina, or Wilma again... at least in name.
How bad were they?
According to WMO:
Erika was a tropical storm whose torrential rains inflicted significant casualties and damage on the Caribbean island of Dominica. More than a foot of rain fell there and the storm was directly responsible for 30 deaths. In Haiti, one person died due to a mud slide after Erika had dissipated as a tropical cyclone.
Joaquin was a category 4 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), whose strong winds and storm surge devastated Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador in the central and southeastern Bahamas in October 2015. Joaquin took the lives of 34 people—all at sea—including the 33 crew members of the cargo ship El Faro, which sank during the storm northeast of Crooked Island. Joaquin is the strongest October hurricane known to have affected the Bahamas since 1866.
Patricia was a late-season major hurricane that intensified at a rate rarely observed in a tropical cyclone. It became a category 5 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) over unusually warm waters to the south of Mexico, and is now the strongest hurricane on record in the eastern North Pacific and North Atlantic basins. The hurricane turned north-northeastward and weakened substantially before making landfall in October 2015 along a sparsely populated part of the coast of southwestern Mexico as a category 4 hurricane.
How are tropical systems named?
The WMO has 6 lists of names that include both male and female names and should represent the languages spoken throughout the Caribbean/Eastern Mexico/and Eastern Central America. That's why you may get English names, Spanish, French and even Dutch. These lists are repeated every 6 years BUT, if a system turns deadly, then out of respect for those who suffered the most, they are stricken from the list.
Click here for everything you want to know regarding names.
What are the new names replacing the three retired?
The WMO will replace Erika with “Elsa”, Joaquin with “Julian” and Patricia with “Pamela” when last years list comes up again in 2021.
Here are the 2016 season names:
Public Affairs Officer / Meteorologist
NOAA Communications & External Affairs
National Hurricane Center