Have you ever wondered about the system used for naming hurricanes?
In 1953, the National Weather Service picked up on the habit of Naval meteorologists of naming the storms after women. Ships were always referred to as female, and were often given women's names. The storms' temperament certainly seemed female enough, shifting directions at a whim on a moment's notice. In 1979, male names were inserted to alternate with the female names, to the delight of women's-libbers everywhere.
There are actually six lists of names in use for storms in the Atlantic. These lists rotate, one each year. The names get recycled each time the list comes up, with one exception: storms so devastating that reusing the name is inappropriate. In this case, the name is taken off the list and another name is used to replace it; there will not be another Hurricane Andrew, because Andrew has been replaced by Alex on the list.
A storm must start as a Tropical Depression and move on to become a Tropical Storm before it is given a name. Once a storm is named, preparations for the possible hurricane should be well under way. Without further ado, here is the list of hurricane names for 2013:
If we're unlucky enough to deplete the year's supply of names the National Hurricane Center will turn to the Greek alphabet and we'll have Hurricanes Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, etc.