Who Gives the Hurricanes Their Names

We don’t have hurricanes named after us, right? We should all be so lucky! Hurricanes are given names because people want to name them. In fact, there is a whole “committee” that spends every six years sitting around thinking up the names for the next six years.

The United States National Hurricane Center is responsible for naming tropical storms, which are the same as hurricanes.

Hurricanes’ names always come from somewhere in one of four different languages: sometimes they come from Greek and Roman mythology, sometimes they are just English words, other times Spanish words, and sometimes French. The National Hurricane Center has six lists of names that rotate every six years to keep things fair between male and female names.

There is a list for each letter of the alphabet so if you’re curious about what name will be given to the next hurricane after Harvey, all you have to do is remember the order!

The center has six lists of names, with each list containing 25 different names. As hurricanes are named alphabetically, the first hurricane name in a season is given the name “A” and so on with “B”, “C”, and so on. The two exceptions to this rule are storms named after women—the first storm in a season is given a woman’s name and any others will be named after men.

Hurricane season starts on June 1st and runs through November 30th; however, there can be hurricanes outside those dates too. Hurricanes usually form in tropical regions during the summer months because water temperatures are warmer.

As the air rises above the sea, it cools and condenses forming clouds. The winds are then pushed by Earth’s rotation acting as a steering current to guide these clusters of storms across the ocean.

The first name on each list is kept so that if an unusual number of tropical cyclones occur during one season, only names beginning with letters used up to this point are used. If the first name on the list is already used, then the next name on the list is used instead.

The exceptions to this rule are storms named after women – if there is a hurricane during a year with only female names, then that same storm will be given another name later in that season.

The other exception comes into play when two or more tropical cyclones have their names retired for whatever reason – they are replaced by new names which are taken from names of people who were killed during natural disasters because it’s important to remember those who died while also remembering how terrible these events really are.

There’s nothing strange about wanting to know what our society has decided should be an appropriate activity for today, but it’s always good to take time to ask why! Now you know that hurricanes are named because people want them to be. You also probably have a trivia question for tonight’s dinner party. If so, don’t forget to do some research of your own before confidently answering any questions about storms.

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