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How and Why Hurricanes Get Their Names

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be a busy one. The NOAA’s forecast reveals that throughout the months of June to November there are 13-19 named storms, 6-10 of those storms have potential to become hurricanes with 74 mile winds, and 3-6 of those have the potential of developing into 3,4 or 5 category hurricanes with winds up to 111mph or higher.

Have you ever wondered how hurricanes get their names, or why they even have names at all?

Naming tropical storms or hurricanes simply allows us to remember the storm and communicate about them more clearly. The names of these natural disasters are predetermined and approved before the start of each hurricane season. Today, the formal list is generated and executed by the Meteorological Organization.

Before hurricanes were given names they were spoken about by referring to their longitude and latitude numbers that specialists would use to track the storm.

Hurricanes and storms began receiving formal names in the 1950s, the names were assigned by the National Hurricane Center in phonetic alphabetical order. The names would remain the same throughout every season, meaning that the first hurricane of each year would have the same name, and so on and so forth. It was a repetitive list.

To eliminate confusion, in 1953 hurricanes and storms were given female names, which was a common practice in most boaters, as many vessels were named after females. Around 1978-1979 male names were included into the list.

Today, there are six lists of hurricane names, these names will be used again six years from now.

There are circumstances where a hurricane’s name will become retired, meaning it will never be used again. For example, the name Katrina was retired in 2005, its name was replaced on the list. When a hurricane causes major damage, specialists retire the use of its name for reasons such as cultural sensitivity, legal, and historical reasons.

This information is provided by Miami insurance lawyer Alonso & Perez, LLP. Our areas of practice include bankruptcy, insurance litigation, foreclosure defense, immigration law, and more. Call 305-676-7545 to speak with a Miami insurance claims lawyer and receive a free consultation. We look forward to working with you.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.