How do hurricanes get named?

The United States introduced the naming system in 1950 in which each hurricane is given a name in alphabetical order. in 1953, the naming convention was taken over by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which selected names from library sources and finalized lists during international meetings. Until 1978, all the names were female, but this practice ended with the 1979 hurricane season, and now names alternate between male and female. The names are all either English, Spanish, or French in origin.

The names are chosen to reflect the cultures and languages found in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Hawaiian regions. When a tropical storm with rotary action and wind speeds above 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour develops, the

A home owner frets over his house as strong winds from Hurricane Wilma blow a Florida neighborhood in 2005.

A home owner frets over his house as strong winds from Hurricane Wilma blow a Florida neighborhood in 2005.

National Hurricane Center near Miami, Florida, selects a name from one of the six listings for Region 4 (Atlantic and Caribbean area). Letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z are not included because of the scarcity of names beginning with those letters.

What will the names of hurricanes be through 2013?

Hurricane Names: 2009 through 2013

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Ana

Alex

Arlene

Alberto

Andrea

Bill

Bonnie

Bret

Beryl

Barry

Claudette

Colin

Cindy

Chris

Chantal

Danny

Danielle

Don

Debby

Dorian

Erika

Earl

Emily

Ernesto

Erin

Fred

Fiona

Franklin

Florence

Fernand

Grace

Gaston

Gert

Gordon

Gabrielle

Henri

Hermine

Harvey

Helene

Humberto

Ida

Igor

Irene

Isaac

Ingrid

Joaquin

Julia

Jose

Joyce

Jerry

Kate

Karl

Katia

Kirk

Karen

Larry

Lisa

Lee

Leslie

Lorenzo

Mindy

Matthew

Maria

Michael

Melissa

Nicholas

Nicole

Nate

Nadine

Nestor

Odette

Otto

Ophelia

Oscar

Olga

What was the greatest natural disaster in United States history?

The greatest natural disaster occurred when a hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, on September 8, 1900, and killed 8,000 to 12,000 people. However, the costliest national disaster to date was Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, killing 1,800 people and causing $100 billion in damages.

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Peter

Paula

Philippe

Patty

Pablo

Rose

Richard

Rina

Rafael

Rebekah

Sam

Shary

Sean

Sandy

Sebastien

Teresa

Thomas

Tammy

Tony

Tanya

Victor

Virginie

Vince

Valerie

Van

Wanda

Walter

Whitney

William

Wendy

What hurricane names have been retired?

Hurricane names are retired when a particularly bad storm has caused a great deal of damage and loss of life. Countries affected by such hurricanes will petition the WMO to have the name retired and replaced with a new name.

Agnes (1972)

Connie (1955)

Frederic (1979)

Juan (2003)

Alicia (1983)

David (1979)

Georges (1998)

Katrina (2005)

Allen (1980)

Dean (2007)

Gilbert (1988)

Keith (2000)

Allison (2001)

Dennis (2005)

Gloria (1985)

Klaus (1990)

Andrew (1992)

Diana (1990)

Hattie (1961)

Lenny (1999)

Anita (1977)

Diane (1955)

Hazel (1954)

Lili (2002)

Audrey (1957)

Donna (1960)

Hilda (1964)

Luis (1995)

Betsy (1965)

Dora (1964)

Hortense (1996)

Marilyn (1995)

Beulah (1967)

Edna (1968)

Hugo (1989)

Michelle (2001)

Bob (1991)

Elena (1985)

Inez (1966)

Mitch (1998)

Camille (1969)

Eloise (1975)

Ione (1955)

Noel (2007)

Carla (1961)

Fabian (2003)

Iris (2001)

Opal (1995)

Carmen (1974)

Felix (2007)

Isabel (2003)

Rita (2005)

Carol (1954)

Fifi (1974)

Isidore (2002)

Roxanne (1995)

Celia (1970)

Flora (1963)

Ivan (2004)

Stan (2005)

Cesar (1996)

Floyd (1999)

Janet (1955)

Wilma (2005)

Charley (2004)

Fran (1996)

Jeanne (2004)

Cleo (1964)

Frances (2004)

Joan (1988)

Gustav and Ike, both 2008 hurricanes, may also be retired.

What incident do many literary scholars believe inspired William Shakespeare to write The Tempest?

The Tempest is considered to be the last play completed by the famous British playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). It is a mystical, romantic play about shipwrecked sailors who find themselves on an island inhabited by good and evil creatures. Many scholars believe it was inspired by the story of the Sea Venture, a ship that sank near the Bahamas in 1609 because of a hurricane. The captain's decision to crash the ship on a reef resulted in his saving 150 of his crew.

 
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