Facts Science

How do Hurricanes get their names

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The hurricane ranks as one of the most beautiful and destructive forces on Earth. It has been around for hundreds of years, and hurricanes are still wreaking havoc across the world. One of the most notable things about hurricanes is that they all have names. This is something that has been the case for years, and we’ve always wondered how and why hurricanes wind up having the names they do.

Well, fortunately, there have been a lot of details about this over the years, so it’s much easier to determine exactly why this is. The hurricane season in the Atlantic runs from the start of June to the end of November, so it seems like the perfect time to check out more about hurricane names, why they are used, and where they come from. This is what we know about hurricanes from the research we’ve carried out.

Why do hurricanes have names?

There has long been a debate about why it is that hurricanes have names, and we’ve got the answer for you here! It’s because it makes them easier to track, helps people communicate about them more effectively, and allows us all to prepare and stay safer in the event that a hurricane should hit. Originally hurricanes had numbers, not names, which was useful for meteorologists but caused chaos for people trying to find out information about hurricanes. 1950 saw the start of the naming process, which then became more comprehensive in 1953 when hurricanes were given female names. By 1979 this had been updated to include both male and female names.

When does a storm get its name?

When a tropical storm is named largely depends upon the size and ferocity of the storm. Basically, when the storm reaches wind speeds of around 39 miles per hour and displays a rotating circulation pattern, it will be named. And, when this storm delivers winds of 74 miles per hour it becomes a hurricane. The names are chosen from a list of hurricane names, and the names usually rotate. The list in 2017 contains 6 names for hurricanes in the Atlantic, and they rotate one name each year.

The exceptions

There are notable exceptions when it comes to naming a hurricane, and these usually come down to the amount of carnage and devastation caused by the specific hurricane. If for, instance, there is a particularly deadly and destructive hurricane, as was the case in 2005 with Hurricane Katrina, the name will be retired. This is generally as a mark of respect to the victims of the hurricane, not to mention the legal and historical reasons behind the move. It is uncommon for names to be retired, but it does happen on occasion.

Hurricanes are potentially catastrophic, and the more we can find out and analyze about them, the better it will be for all concerned. There is a definite scientific reasoning behind naming them, not to mention the fact that it makes sense from a safety perspective. Some of the hurricane names for the 2017 season include Arlene, Harvey, Ophelia, and Tammy. How many of the names for this year will wind up being retired remains to be seen.