Go hurricane names in alphabetical order

Current lists of names can be found under question B2.

Tropical cyclones are named to improve communication between meteorologists and the public and to make forecasting and warnings easier. Because a storm is often on the road for a week or more, and more than one storm can occur at the same time, the names reduce confusion about which storm is being referred to.

For a long time, tropical cyclones were only named after the fact. After coming ashore and causing great destruction, they were remembered either by being named after the day of the saint on which they took place (like the Hurricanes of San Felipe in 1876, 1928) or by some distinctive features (the Hurricane Salty 1810, Yankee Hurricane 1935).

To Dunn and Miller (1960) was first named a tropical cyclone by Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist, in the late 19th century. First he used letters from different alphabets to describe tropical cyclones, then he began to use women's names from the South Seas. When the new government refused to set up a state weather service and appoint him as director, he gave the storms names of politicians he didn't like. By naming a storm, the meteorologist was able to describe a politician (who may not have been in a good mood with the weather bureau) as "causing a dire disaster" or as "wandering quietly across the Pacific", for example.

Though Wragge's practice of naming it became obsolete when his weather service in Queensland closed, the idea inspired author George Stewart 40 years later. In his novella "Storm" from 1941, a young meteorologist named extra-tropical storms in the Pacific after ex-girlfriends. The novella was widely read, particularly by US Army and Navy meteorologists during World War II. As Reid Bryson, E.B. Buxton and Bill Plumley were transferred to Saipan to predict tropical cyclones, they decided to name the storms - like Stewart - after their friends. In 1945 the Army made a list of women's names for the Western Pacific. But the US weather service could not be persuaded to adopt this practice.

Beginning in 1947, the Air Force Hurricane Bureau in Miami began naming tropical cyclones with names from the phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie, etc.). In the very active hurricane season of 1950, three hurricanes occurred at the same time, causing great confusion. Grady Norton then decided to use the Air Force naming system for the public warnings as well, as well as in its annual end-of-season summary. The following year the names also appeared in newspaper articles.

This practice quickly became popular. However, a new international phonetic alphabet (Alpha-Beta-Charlie-etc.) Was introduced in 1952, which in turn caused some confusion about names of hurricanes. Therefore, in 1953, the US Weather Service decided to take over the army practice and introduce women's names. It was both controversial and popular. In 1979, under political pressure, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) asked if the Hurricane Committee for Prediction Region IV could switch to a list of hurricane names that alternated between men and women. This followed the practice of the Australian Weather Service, which was introduced in 1975.

A rare hurricane near Hawaii in 1950 was named Hiki (Hawaiian for Able). An official list of names for tropical cyclones in the vicinity of the archipelago was not drawn up until 1959. It was not until the following year that the San Francisco Meteorological Service compiled a list for the entire Northeast Pacific. In 1978 both male and female names were used.

In the Northwest Pacific, the tropical cyclones were officially given women's names since 1945 and, since 1979, alternating male and female names. Since January 1, 2000, the storms here have been given names from a new and completely changed list. The new names are Asian names and are added by all nations and territories that are members of the WMO's Typhoon Committee. These new names differ from the rest of the global names in two ways:

  1. Most are not names of people. There are few names for women and men, but most are names of flowers, animals, birds, trees, or even food, while some are even descriptive adjectives.
  2. The names are not used in alphabetical order, but are sorted alphabetically according to the countries that give them the name. In addition, the Philippine weather service assigns its own names to storms approaching the archipelago.

Until recently, tropical cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean were given no names. Names have also been given here since the 2006 season. On the southwest Indian Ocean, the storms were named for the first time in the 1960/61 season.

Around Australia and on the southern Pacific (east of 90 degrees east, south of the equator) the storms were given women's names in 1964 and female and male names since 1974/75.

For a long time there were no lists of names for the South Atlantic. A rare South Atlantic storm in 2004 was named Catarina. Another such system was subsequently referred to as Anita in 2010. From 2011 a list of names for the South Atlantic Basin with mainly Brazilian names was created.

last revised on June 14, 2014

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