So people with common names don't have to share names with a destructive hurricane.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is probably a more generic question re giving "people names" to "bad" things. Ultimately, I think most people don't care enough to lobby against this practice. Plus, you get a bounty of whimsical jokes like "Katrina took my home, my car, and destroyed my life. Then, that damn hurricane hit". $\endgroup$
    – user967
    Sep 8 '17 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ Uncommon names would still mean some would have to share names, just less. Imagine the ignominy of having not only an uncommon\weird name, but sharing it with a destructive hurricane when no one does? People quickly remember the connection to rare names (like Katrina and Camille) much longer than they do with common ones (Andrew, Ivan, Sandy) Plus odd names are less easy for people to remember. In the end, we're going to be up to 11 retired "I" storms after this year, and quickly running short. So we may have to start going to rarer and rarer names. $\endgroup$ Sep 18 '17 at 23:07

It's just the system that is used.

The first person to give names to cyclones/typhoons/hurricanes was Clement Wragge, an Australian weather forecaster in the 19 century.

He first designated tropical cyclones by the letters of the Greek alphabet, then started using South Sea Island girls' names. When the new constituted Australian national government failed to create a federal weather bureau and appoint him director, he began naming cyclones "after political figures whom he disliked. By properly naming a hurricane, the weatherman could publicly describe a politician (who perhaps was not too generous with weather-bureau appropriations) as 'causing great distress' or 'wandering aimlessly about the Pacific.'

During World War 2, US army & navy meteorologists name tropical cyclones after their wives, after having been introduced to a novel, Storm, in which a junior meteorologist named extra-tropical storms after girl friends.

In 1947 the US Air Force Hurricane Office in Miami started using the then new international phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie, ...) when naming hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean.

When the international phonetic alphabet changed in 1952 (to Alpha, Beta, Charlie ,..) The US Weather Bureau initially started using the armed services practice of using women's names.

In 1975 the Australian Bureau of Meteorology started using a system alternating womens and mens names. After political pressure, in 1979 by the

US National Hurricane Center (NHC) requested that the WMO's Region IV Hurricane Committee switch to a hurricane name list that alternated men's and women's names following the practice adopted by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology in 1975.

IN the North West Pacific, womens names were first used in 1945. Mens names started being used in 1979. Now they use a series of Asian names, contributed by nations and territories that are members of the WMO Typhoon Committee.

  • $\begingroup$ So you see, the NHC didn't want there to be only women names. No one want to share a hurricane name. $\endgroup$
    – larry909
    Oct 15 '18 at 7:39

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