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How Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?

Posted at 12:01 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 11:42:41-04

WFTX — What's in a name... or should I say hurricane name? Since 1953, Atlantic tropical cyclones have been given names like Fred, Elsa, Kate, & Larry. They've been chosen from six rotating lists & every six years, you may see names from previous years. Unless the storm was so deadly or costly, then that name is retired. We'll never see another Katrina, Dorian, or Irma.

But who gets the right to come up with the names? That would be The World Meteorological Organization or WMO. It's located in Geneva, Switzerland.

The names are chosen from English, French, & Spanish since those are the primary languages spoken in the countries impacted by tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Basin.

And by the way, it wasn't until 1979 that male names were added to the list. Before that, they were all female. I actually worked with a leading hurricane forecaster years ago who's daughter was the reason Hurricane Camille got it's name in 1969. This was well before the WMO took over the naming rights.

And if we go through 21 names like last year, an alternate list is used... no more Greek letter names. They were found to be too difficult & confusing.