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Naming the Storm: Then and Now

September 2013

By WeatherBug Meteorologists

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Assigning a name to tropical storms is a practice that can trace its roots back several centuries. History shows that memorable tropical storms in the West Indies were often named after saints, while those in the Pacific Ocean were named after women.

The naming of tropical storms on a consistent basis began in 1953 and was originally the responsibility of the National Hurricane Center. Storms were named only after females until men`s names were added to the list in 1978 for the northern Pacific and in 1979 for the Atlantic.

The World Meteorological Organization now keeps six rotating name lists, each alternating between male and female names. This means that storm names that are used this year will appear again in 2013.

Whenever an especially costly or deadly storm strikes, that name is omitted from future lists. For example, Katrina will never appear again.

As the peak of hurricane season continues, be sure to check back with WeatherBug often for the latest tropical weather developments.

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