2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season: What’s in a Name?

Today marks the official start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, but already we have seen two named storms form.

Here’s the list of storm names for 2012:

Alberto
Beryl
Chris
Debby
Ernesto
Florence
Gordon
Helene
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Michael
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sandy
Tony
Valerie
William

In case you were wondering, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) tells us the list of Atlantic tropical storm names is determined by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

For Atlantic hurricanes, there is a list of names for each of six years that are used in rotation. This means a list is repeated every seventh year, so the 2012 list will be used again in 2018.

The only time there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity.

More information on the history of naming tropical cyclones and retired names can be found at the NHC website.

Meanwhile, check out the following  handy hurricane-related resources from the I.I.I.

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