How Hurricanes Are Named: Explained

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Published on October 16, 2019 - Duration: 01:23s

How Hurricanes Are Named: Explained

How Hurricanes Are Named: Explained Every year, the National Hurricane Center tracks various tropical storms in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Once these storms reach 39 mph, they are assigned a name in order to streamline messaging and communications.

These names are short and distinctive in order to ensure the storms are easily identifiable and not confused with any other active storms. Originally, storms only received alphabetized female names.

In 1978, it was decided to include male names as well.

Jim Elsner, Florida State University Professor, to ‘TIME’ The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is currently responsible for naming hurricanes.

For the North Atlantic ocean, The WMO has 6 lists of 21 male and female names, which are used in rotation.

The names are then recycled every six years, meaning names used in 2019, like Andrea and Barry, will be used again in 2025.

If a hurricane is particularly devastating, such as Katrina, Irma and Florence, its name is retired and replaced.


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