How are hurricanes named?
Agency: DVEM/Maine Emergency Management
Women's names were first used to name tropical storms and hurricanes during World War II, with some variations in practices in the early 1950s. In 1953, the US Weather Bureau began using a standardized list of female names in naming Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes. The practice of using female names exclusively ended in 1979 when both male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico hurricane lists.
The name lists are agreed upon at international meetings of the World Meteorological Organization. The names alternate between male and female names, and have an international flavor because hurricanes affect other nations and are tracked by many countries.
There are currently six lists of names used in naming hurricanes; a different list is used each year. The lists are repeated in 6- year cycles. However, names associated with storms that have caused significant death and/or damage are usually retired from the list and a replacement name is selected by the World Meteorological Organization.
Here are the hurricane names for 2012.