How do you name hurricanes?

In the Antilles, hurricanes were named after the saint of the day the hurricane affected. For example, the “Hurricane of Santa Ana”, which struck Puerto Rico with exceptional violence on July 26, 1825.

The first meteorologist to use a proper (female) name to refer to a hurricane was the Australian Clement Wragge in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 1953, the United States the plan to name storms using a phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie) was abandoned as confusing when a new international phonetic alphabet was introduced. In that year the US Time Office called them only with women’s names.

By 1978, names of women and men were included in the lists of storms for the Eastern North Pacific. In 1979 alternate male and female names were incorporated.

Every year, a list of names is prepared for the hurricane season. There is a hurricane name for each letter of the alphabet, except for the letters Q, U, X, Y, Z which are not included because few names begin with those letters. When a cyclone is especially destructive, that name is no longer used.

For this year 2006, these are the names:


  • alberto

  • Beryl

  • Chris

  • Debby

  • Ernesto

  • Florence

  • Gordon

  • Helene

  • Isaac

  • Joyce

  • kirk

  • leslie

  • Michael

  • Nadine

  • oscar

  • patty

  • raphael

  • sandy

  • Tony

  • valerie

  • William