Naming Hurricanes

The National Hurricane Service began naming Atlantic tropical storms in 1953. A person's name was found to be much more memorable than the latitude and longitude coordinates or year the storm occured - it's easier to talk about Hurricane Fifi than the Third Hurricane of 1842. Initially, all the storms were given women's names, but after some protest, men's names were added in 1979. The list of names for each year alternates between male and female names, and consists of 21 first names, one for each letter of the alphabet (excluding Q, U, X, Y, and Z). Hurricane names are retired if the storm was very deadly or costly - for instance, Katrina will never again be used. If there are so many storms in a year that the list of 21 names is exhuasted, as happened in the record-breaking season of 2005, future storms are named after the letters of the Greek alphabet - Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.

List of storm names through 2011