Weather Gadgets

June 2, 2011

WeatherWise -- How Are Hurricanes Named?


Every year a list of names for hurricanes is generated. By who? And how do they come up with these names and when do they retire them? This short video over at AccuWeather explains.

stormgeorgerstewart.jpgThe video cites the book Storm (California Legacy) by George R. Stewart (1895-1980, a professor of English at the University of California Berkeley) which initiated the custom of giving storms feminine names. The book chronicles a Pacific storm called Maria in 12 chapters, one for each day in the life of the storm.

Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

Originally, only women's names were used, but in 1979, men's names were introduced and are currently alternated with the women's names. The lists are re-cycled every six years, so the 2011 list will be used again in 2017. The only time that there is a change in the list is in the event of a devastating storm. Several names have been changed since the lists were created.


Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names can be found at the National Hurricane Center.

Read More in: General News | Weather Books | Weather Programs

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