Why hurricanes have names



  • 1 To make communication easier

    In the past, hurricanes were referred to using latitudes and longitudes. It's not convenient to refer to a hurricane using a set of numbers, which is why people started giving them names. 

  • 2 To keep track of them

    Scientists need simple needs in order to keep track of hurricanes and discuss their effects. Human names are easily memorable and so people starting giving names to hurricanes.

  • 3 They copied naval meteorologists

    Weather scientists copied the habits of naval meteorologists by giving hurricanes specific and distinct names. This is also where the female names of hurricanes were borrowed from.

  • 4 The hurricane exceeds 39 miles per hour

    When the wind speed of a tropical storm exceeds 39 miles per hour, it is then given a name because it might turn into a hurricane. When the speed reaches 74 miles per hour, the storm turns into a hurricane.

  • 5 They are named in alphabetical order

    Scientists decided that hurricanes are going to be named in alphabetical order. They created a fixed list of names and they assign a new name for each hurricane from that list based on alphabetical order.

  • 6 To prevent errors

    Names make it easier for people to refer to hurricanes without making mistakes. Because a mistake can cost lives, human names were found to be a good choice.

  • 7 To reduce confusion when two storms happen

    When two storms happen at the same time, human names reduce confusion and make it easier for everyone to refer to the right hurricane.