• Bailey Flowers

How hurricanes get their names

Even though they’re given male or female names, hurricanes do not really have genders. However, according to Earth Sky, “Hurricanes are given a set of names from the Worlds Meteorological Organization.” The names that are not used are recycled for next year’s list of possible hurricane names. The names that were used this year will be put back into the list six years from now. The names of hurricanes that are particularly damaging are retired for legal and historical reasons.

In the past, hurricanes names were based on the latitude and longitude from which they originated. According to the National Hurricane Center, “Storms are named according to a phonetic alphabet and the names (in the past) were repeated every single year.” The same list of names repeated each year in sequential order; the storm name was simply followed by a number which increased each time the name was used.

Hurricanes first get their names when they have a wind speed of 39 miles per hour and a clockwise rotation. A tropical storm develops into a hurricane when wind speeds reach 74 miles per hour.

Hurricane names for the season of 2017 are Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gerbert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney. This year’s hurricane season runs from May 15 until Nov. 30.

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