Every hurricane or Atlantic tropical storm is given a name from a list which is maintained by the National Hurricane Center in the USA. There are six different lists, each containing twenty-one names beginning with every letter of the alphabet except for Q, U, X, Y and Z.
The lists are used in rotation, repeating every six years, with the first storm of a year being given a name starting with 'A', the second 'B' and so on. Hurricane names alternate in gender - male, female, male, female, etc.
Names of particularly destructive hurricanes are generally removed from the list and replaced with a new name, beginning with the same letter, to be used six years later.
For example, after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, the name 'Katrina' was retired and replaced with the name 'Katia', which was used in 2011 and will be re-used in 2017.
|1999, 2005, 2011, 2017||2000, 2006, 2012, 2018||2001, 2007, 2013, 2019|
|2002, 2008, 2014||2003, 2009, 2015||2004, 2010, 2016|
Typhoons, which occur in the Pacific rather than the Atlantic ocean, have a different and more complex naming system. This is largely due to the number of different countries, with different languages and cultures, that can be affected by each storm.
The allocated identifiers are a mixture of names, animals, plants, astrological signs, mythological figures, etc., in various languages. They are not ordered alphabetically. For this reason, it is more usual to refer to typhoons primarily by a four-digit identifier indicating the year and a sequential number - for example 1405 would be the fifth typhoon in the year 2014 - optionally followed by the name.
Some typhoon names include: Damrey, Fengshen, Nanmadol, Dolphin, Kai-tak, Wutip, Saola
Starting in Winter 2015, the United Kingdom has given names to severe storms. The list of UK Storm Names is maintained by the UK Meteorological Office and the Irish Met Eireann Service.