Storm Team Academy: Naming hurricanes

Storm Team Academy

June 1st is the official start to hurricane season even though the 2020 season has already began. We’ve had two named storms before the official start to hurricane season with Arthur and Bertha.

Tropical storms and hurricanes are given a name by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to better track and communicate and avoid confusion.

Naming of storms didn’t begin until the early 1950s. According to NOAA, prior to that storms were tracked by their year, order, and location in which they occurred.

At first hurricane were only given female names. But, then in the 1970s male names were incorporated into the list.

The National Hurricane Center does not control the naming of tropical storms. Instead, there is a strict procedure established by the World Meteorological Organization, according to NOAA. There is a rotation of 6 list of names. Each list is in alphabetical order and alternating male/female name. Every year the “A” name changes from male to female the following year.

When a storm is powerful and historic, that name will be retired and a new name with that letter will replace it.

If a season uses all 21 names, then it will move on to the letters of the Greek alphabet. This has only happened once in history in 2005.

There are different lists of names for each part of the Earth’s oceans. The list you see in the video above is the Atlantic Basin list. There’s another list for tropical storms and typhoons in the eastern and western Pacific Ocean, and cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

Have a question for Storm Team Academy? Email us: StormTeam@LocalSYR.com

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