Countries visited and storms inspected scored on a NOAA plane. (AP)

Countries visited and storms inspected scored on a NOAA plane. (AP)

Stickers on a NOAA Hurricane Hunter brag of storms flown through. (AP)

Stickers on a NOAA Hurricane Hunter brag of storms flown through. (AP)

At the National Hurricane Center an expert studies an image of Gustav in 2008. (AP)

At the National Hurricane Center an expert studies an image of Gustav in 2008. (AP)

Names of victims are seen on the Hurricane Katrina Memorial in Louisiana. (AP)

Names of victims are seen on the Hurricane Katrina Memorial in Louisiana. (AP)

A hazard flag warns beachgoers as a named storm approaches Miami in 2014. (AP)

A hazard flag warns beachgoers as a named storm approaches Miami in 2014. (AP)

Name That Hurricane

Posted: May 2, 2016

Have you ever shared a name with a hurricane? If you have, you’ll probably do so again in your lifetime. Hurricane names come from lists. Those lists rotate every six years.

The lists go in alphabetical order. Do you remember the hurricanes from last year? First, tropical storm Ana landed in South Carolina in May. In June, tropical storm Bill came to Texas. In July, Claudette landed near North Carolina. We will probably see Ana, Bill, and Claudette again in 2021. Danny, Erika, Fred, and Grace will probably come close behind.

But there are a few names we will never see again. Hurricane Charley is one. Hurricane Charley swept across Florida in 2004. It destroyed towns. It killed 15 people. Hurricanes that severe get scratched off the list. The name “Charley” was replaced with “Colin.” Some other names you’ll never hear again are Frances, Katrina, and Wilma. They all were given to dangerous storms in 2004 or 2005.

Where a hurricane lands also helps determine its name. In the Atlantic ocean, most hurricanes get English names. But it doesn’t make sense to give English names to storms in the eastern North Pacific. Storms there affect countries in Central America. Those storms usually get Spanish names.

This year, you can keep your eyes open for these storms: Alex, Bonnie, Colin, Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston, Hermine, Ian, Julia, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Tobias, Virginie, and Walter. Will any of them be bad enough to get removed from the list?