Breakdown: Why hurricanes names are retired

Breakdown: Why Hurricanes Names Are Retired

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Let’s first start with some history on hurricane names.

According to NOAA, storm names were first identified by year and the order by which they happened. Eventually, it was decided that giving the storms a name would be less confusing.

In 1953 the United States started using female names for storms and in 1978 both male and female were used for storms for Pacific storms. A year later, this classification system was adopted for Atlantic storms.

The naming of the storms is established by the World Meteorological Organization. The organization has strict guidelines on how the names are established. For the Atlantic hurricanes, there is a list of male and female and the names are used every six years.

Sometimes a name of a storm gets retired, this is if a storm is particularly deadly or costly. In that case a new name will replace the retired name. If there is more than 21 storms in a season, then the name will be named from the Greek Alphabet.

The first retired storm was in 1954 since then there have been 86 retired storms. Some of the names you may recognize are Andrew in 1992, Rita and Katrina in 2005, and most recently in 2017 Harvey, Maria, Irma, and Nate.

I think, two more names may be added to that list from this season, possibly Florence and Michael. We will have to wait and see.

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