When a result, the World Meteorological Organization creates a list of names that are allocated to tropical storms in alphabetical order as they are found throughout each hurricane season. Names can be reused after a six-year gap, although names of very violent storms are permanently withdrawn from usage. Hurricane Emily was given its current name in 2006. However, it was already used in 1999 when it caused no damage.
There is no restriction on how many times a storm can be named. However, if a storm causes severe damage then it will likely get added to the List of Hurricanes/tropical storms that have affected New York. This list has not been released yet for 2019 but previous years lists contain between 15 and 17 names.
In addition to the official list, some people have also named hurricanes Elvis, Hannah, Ike, Irene, Josephine, Karen, Laura, Linda, Margie, Melissa, Monica, Nancy, Pam, Peggy, Rachel, Richard, Sandy, Teresa, Tiffany, and Wilma. None of these names have been used again since they were first chosen. It is possible but unlikely that another person or organization will choose the same name as what has already been used.
The ability to use the same name more than once helps to prevent the creation of multiple storms with the same name.
Tropical storms, such as hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons, endure for a long period and are named so scientists can keep track of them. They used to be traced by the year in which they occurred. However, in certain areas, there might be 100 storms in a year, thus names help specialists identify them differently. For example, Hurricane Alice in 1980 caused considerable damage when it struck North Carolina but was not given much attention because it was only tropical storm status.
Storms that form in the Pacific Ocean are called typhoons. They are also strong winds with high-speed moving clouds that develop over warm oceans. Typhoons can cause a great deal of damage when they hit land. For example, Typhoon Fred in 1939 killed an estimated 6,000 people when it swept across China.
Hurricanes are large-scale storms that occur in the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Pacific Ocean regions. They include all types of storms in this category, such as tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes. A hurricane is defined as a rapidly intensifying low pressure area associated with a tropic of cancer or capricorn. These storms can cause extensive damage when they make landfall. For example, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was responsible for killing over 600 people when it struck Louisiana.
Cyclones are large-scale storms that occur in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean regions. They include all types of storms in this category, such as tropical depressions, tropical storms, and cyclones.
The first tropical storm of the year was given a name that began with the letter "A," the second with the letter "B," and so on. There are six lists of Atlantic hurricane names that are repeated every six years. These lists are called cycles. Names are assigned to storms in four-year blocks, with each name being used once within a cycle. The next available name is then added to the list for use in the next cycle.
Some names have been retired from usage because they were found to be inappropriate or too similar to other names on the list. For example, Alicia was used in 2001 and 2002 before it was replaced with Alexa. Also, Alberto was used in 1980 and 1996 before it was replaced with Alain.
Names are chosen by members of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Committee on Technical Requirements for National Weather Services. Each nation has the right to object to some names, but most countries do not exercise this right.
In the American Public Media radio program "We Are All Scientists," host Carl Zimmer argued that since many scientists believe that hurricanes are products of nature rather than human activity, naming them is somewhat meaningless. He notes that many people think that astronauts are named after stars and that this has no real meaning. Since hurricanes are natural events, he argues that naming them does not change their behavior nor their impact on humans.