How do storms and hurricanes get their name?

2 Answers
Jul 9, 2015

Answer:

There is a predefined list.

Explanation:

Hurricanes and tropical storms received their names from an alphabetical list depending on the location of the storm. For the year 2016 (for example) the list for the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and North Atlantic is:
Alex
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Ian
Julia
Karl
Lisa
Matthew
Nicole
Otto
Paula
Richard
Shary
Tobias
Virginie
Walter

That means the first storm of 2016 should be named Alex, the 2nd one will be Bonnie...and so on.

When a particularly bad storm happens they retire the name. For example in 2011 they retired the name Irene.

The Pacific Ocean has a different list of names than the Atlantic Ocean. The names in the list are contributed from different countries and cultures that are affected by these storms and these become the International Names.

Because a relatively large number of tropical cyclones pass through the Phlippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in the Western Pacific Ocean (at least 20 and sometimes more than 28 per year), the Philippines creates its own list of names for the tropical cyclones that enter the PAR. This sometimes results in a storm having both an International Name and Philippine Name.

Of the average of 23 storms that enter the PAR, about 10 or so make landfall. In October 2013, tropical storm Haiyan (named Yolanda in the Philippines) became the strongest recorded storm in global history to ever make landfall. It caused massive damage in Tacloban City, Leyte province, before cutting a swath of destruction across central Philippines.

Sometimes a tropical storm or an unnamed tropical depression causes massive rains and flooding without even making landfall because its low-pressure area strengthens the annual south-west monsoon wind (locally called the "habagat") that pervades the country between July to September.