Ever wondered why do hurricanes have names? Well, because every I’m A Useless Info Junkie loyal reader should know the answer to this kind of questions, today we answer just that.
Here’s how it goes.
Up until 1953, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) tracked storms by year and the order in which they occurred during that year. But this created confusion and over time, it was decided that easily remembered names was a quick and efficient way to name hurricanes. The initial thought was to use the names from the phonetic alphabet (Alpha, Bravo Charlie etc), but NHC concluded that it would be too confusing for the people. Hence, in 1954, the decision was to name hurricanes after female names. (the article continues after the ad)
There were two lists of names; one for Atlantic and one for Eastern North Pacific hurricanes, which were recycled every six years (for example, the names used in 1954 would be used again in 1960 and so on). In the case in which a hurricane was so deadly, the name was retired for sensitive reasons (that’s why you won’t see hurricane Katrina for a second time).
However, since 1978, the lists have changed and the updated ones contain both male and female names. This is why half the hurricanes we experience today have female names and half of them male names.
So, now you know!