What’s in a Name?

Fun Facts

What’s In A Name?

The list of hurricane names has been released for 2011. Hurricanes names are chosen from a list selected by the World Meteorological Organization. These lists have been generated by the National Hurricane Center since 1953. At first, the lists consisted of only female names; however, since 1979, the lists alternate between male and female. Hurricanes are named alphabetically from the list in chronological order. Thus the first tropical storm or hurricane of the year has a name that begins with “A” and the second is given the name that begins with “B.”

The lists contain hurricane names that begin from A to W, but exclude names that begin with a “Q” or “U.” There are six lists that continue to rotate. The lists only change when there is a hurricane that is so devastating, the name is retired and another hurricane name replaces it. Thus, the 2011 hurricane name list is the same as the 2005 hurricane name list although four hurricane names were retired after the devastating 2005 hurricane season so on the 2011 list Dennis was replaced by Don, Katrina was replaced by Katia, Rita was replaced by Rina, Stan was replaced Sean, and Wilma was replaced by Whitney.

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active Atlantic hurricane season in recorded history, repeatedly shattering numerous records. The impact of the season was widespread and ruinous with an estimated 3,865 deaths and record damages of about $130 billion. During the season 28 storms formed (27 named and one unnamed), surpassing almost all records for storm formation in the Atlantic. More tropical storms, hurricanes, and Category 5 hurricanes formed during the season than in any previously recorded Atlantic season. The only major record for number of storms the season did not capture was most major hurricanes, still held by the 1950 season. The season was the first season to use “V” and “W” names, and when the season ran out of official alphabetical names after the use of Wilma, forecasters resorted to using letters from the Greek alphabet for the first time (although Alpha and Delta had been used for subtropical storms in the 1970s).


The 2011 list is as follows:

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