Peak hurricane season has arrived, and despite the slow pace so far, named storms could still form off the US coast through December.
Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and will continue through November 30, with the highest hurricane potential remaining. September.
The first months of hurricane season was relatively quiet. Tropical Storm Alex attacked South Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas on the first weekend of June. Hurricane Danielle is the first storm to appear in 2022 and Hurricane Earl come soon after.
No named hurricane has made landfall in the United States as a hurricane. Tropical Storm Kay caused heavy rain, flash flood warnings and strong winds in California in September, but that storm was part of the Northeast Pacific hurricane season.
Here’s what to know about tropical storms and hurricane names:
- The name has been used for tropical cyclones and hurricanes since 1953.
- The name is used in case two storms occur at the same time, so people are not confused or misunderstood.
- The names are pre-determined and sometimes recycled.
Unusually warm temperatures in one of the world’s coolest regions:September temperatures burn across the North Atlantic, thawing and fueling Hurricane Danielle
Who decides the names? Why do tropical storms and hurricanes have names?
The names were decided “through a rigorous procedure” by the World Meteorological Organization, based in Geneva.
Initially, hurricanes were named after the buildings or structures they damaged, or they were named after their location, the WMO said. That can make it difficult to track if the storm moves through an area.
“Tropical cyclones can last for a week or more; therefore, there can be more than one cyclone at a time. Weather forecasters name each tropical cyclone to avoid confusion.” . WMO said.
In 1953, the National Hurricane Center began using female names for Atlantic hurricanes. Male names were added to the cycle in 1979, and male and female names alternate through the alphabet, although none of the names begin with Q, U, X, Y or Z. There is one separate list of names for hurricanes in the Pacific and other parts of the world.
A hurricane is named when it has sustained winds of 39 mph. A hurricane becomes a hurricane when it reaches speeds of 74 mph.
Tropical cyclones and hurricane names for 2022:
Names will be dropped “if a hurricane is so deadly or costly that it would be inappropriate to use its name for another storm in the future for reasons of sensitivity” according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Ninety-four names have been retired, including Ida, retired in April due to the death and devastation caused by the storm in 2021.
If the storm’s name is not removed, it will be recycled every 6 years, so this year’s name could be used again in 2028.
What if all names are used?
Greek letters, such as Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, were used as secondary names until The World Meteorological Organization eliminated that practice in 2021.
If all names are used in 2022, here are the backups:
Donations: Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @ jordan_mendoza5.