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A History of Hurricane Names For several hundred years, many hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint's day on which the hurricane occurred. Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist, began giving women's names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th century. During World War II, this practice became widespread in weather map discussions among forecasters, especially Air Force and Navy meteorologists.
In 1953, the United States weather services began using female names for storms. The practice of naming hurricanes solely after women came to an end in 1978 when men's and women's names were included in the Eastern North Pacific storm lists. In 1979, male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
Why Hurricanes Are Named Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods. The use of easily remembered names greatly reduces confusion when two or more tropical storms occur at the same time.
Present Procedure in the North Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico The Tropical Prediction Center near Miami, FL, keeps a constant watch on oceanic storm-breeding areas for tropical disturbances that may herald the formation of a hurricane. If a disturbance intensifies into a tropical storm - with rotary circulation and wind speeds above 38 miles per hour - the Center will give the storm a name from one of the six lists below. The Center uses a new set of names each year beginning with the first name in the set. After the sets have all been used, they are reused. The letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z are not included because of the scarcity of names beginning with those letters. TPC retires a name after a major land-falling storm with major economic impact.
The name lists have an international flavor because hurricanes affect other nations and are tracked by the public and weather services of many countries. Names for these lists are selected from library sources and agreed upon at international meetings of the World Meteorological Organization.
Alberto Beryl Chris Debby Ernesto Florence Gordon Helene Isaac Joyce Kirk Leslie Michael Nadine Oscar Patty Rafael Sandy Tony Valerie William
Andrea Barry Chantal Dean Erin Felix Gabrielle Humberto Ingrid Jerry Karen Lorenzo Melissa Noel Olga Pablo Rebekah Sebastien Tanya Van Wendy
Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay Gustav Hanna Ike Josephine Kyle Laura Marco Nana Omar Paloma Rene Sally Teddy Vicky Wilfred
Ana Bill Claudette Danny Erika Fred Grace Henri Ida Joaquin Kate Larry Mindy Nicholas Odette Peter Rose Sam Teresa Victor Wanda
Alex Bonnie Colin Danielle Earl Fiona Gaston Hermine Igor Julia Karl Lisa Matthew Nicole Otto Paula Richard Shary Tomas Virginie Walter
Arlene Bret Cindy Don Emily Franklin Gert Harvey Irene Jose Katia Lee Maria Nate Ophelia Philippe Rina Sean Tammy Vince Whitney