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What's in a (hurricane) name?

Keeping an eye on Isaias for midweek, but where did its name come from?
Credit: ncm

Isaias is the hurricane we're currently watching that might head our way next week. So where did this name come from?

Isaias is Spanish for Isaiah. 

Hurricanes (and tropical storms) in the Atlantic have been named since 1953. Back then, the United States started naming storms with female names only. They started naming storms to avoid confusion among storms when multiple storms were happening at the same time.

In 1979, we started using both male and female names to name storms in the Atlantic Ocean.

But, it is not the National Hurricane Center that names the storms. It's a list that the World Meteorological Society agrees upon since storms don't just impact the U.S. The names are a mix of Spanish, French, and English. These languages represent all of the languages that are spoken in the countries that are impacted by tropical storms or hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin.

For Atlantic tropical systems, there is a list of male and female names. They are listed alphabetically each year and rotate between genders.

Names get retired if a particular storm is very destructive. For example, Katrina was retired after 2005.

If we use all of the names (21 total since we don't use Q, U, X, Y Z), we then move on to the Greek Alphabet. This has only happened once, in 2005.

Credit: ncm