Hurricane or cyclone is the name given to a severe tropical storm that forms over the ocean. It is either called a hurricane or a cyclone depending on where it forms. If it forms in the southern hemisphere it is known as a tropical cyclone. If it forms in the northern hemisphere it is called a hurricane. Each hurricane or cyclone that forms is given a name to distinguish it from other storms that have formed. This enables people to identify which storm is being talked about, and allows for the data gathered on a storm to be categorized together for later reference.
How Are Hurricanes And Cyclones Named?
Each area of the world that is exposed to tropical cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons has a regional body responsible for tracking and naming severe tropical storms. Each region annually predetermines a number of lists that will be used to name tropical storms as they occur. The names are proposed by the members of the council. Names, both male and female, are chosen that are easy to recognizes and understand in the region where the tropical storm may form. This allows for the general public to understand and be familiar with the name of a storm thus be more prepared. For example, the list of names for cyclones that form near Australia is different for the hurricane list of names in Hawaii for example.
When a cyclone or hurricane forms it is named from the list by the regions meteorology branch. Once the bottom of the first list is reached the second list is used. Each region has six lists that rotate on a six yearly basis. Names of particularly infamous storms may be retired for the list to avoid confusion. For example it is unlikely that another hurricane will be called Katrina. If a named tropical cyclone or hurricane crosses into another region the original name it has been given is kept.
The following is this year’s (2011) list of hurricane names for the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic.