Partner Series
Battle of the Hurricane Sexes: Male vs. Female Storms
Hurricane Irene as it appeared by satellite Aug. 24 over the Bahamas.
Credit: NOAA/NASA

Sorry ladies, guys take this one: More of the deadliest, costliest hurricanes have been tagged with male names.

To keep things fair, we only included hurricanes since 1979, as all hurricanes were given female names between 1953 and that year. (Before 1953, latitude-longitude identification methods were used to tag hurricanes.)

And we only counted retired hurricane names, the storms that the World Meteorological Organization deemed so disastrous that the names should never be used again. There are six lists of hurricane names, with alternating male and female monikers — one year "A" is a male name, the next it's a female — that are recycled every six years. When a hurricane name becomes retired , it is replaced on the list with another name.

Comparing female and male names on the retired list reveals 29 retired male-named storms, compared with 22 female storms.

Retired male hurricane names:

1. David (1979)

2. Frederic (1979)

3. Allen (1980)

4. Gilbert (1988)

5. Hugo (1989)

6. Klaus (1990)

7. Bob (1991)

8. Andrew (1992)

9. Luis (1995)

10. Cesar (1996)

11. Georges (1998)

12. Mitch (1998)

13. Floyd (1999)

14. Lenny (1999)

15. Keith (2000)

16. Isidore (2002)

17. Fabian (2003)

18. Juan (2003)

19. Charley (2004)

20. Ivan (2004)

21. Dennis (2005)

22. Stan (2005)

23. Dean (2007)

24. Felix (2007)

25. Noel (2007)

26. Gustav (2008)

27. Ike (2008)

28. Igor (2010)

29. Tomas (2010)

Retired female hurricane names:

1. Alicia (1983)

2. Elena (1985)

3. Gloria (1985)

4. Joan (1988)

5. Diana (1990)

6. Marilyn (1995)

7. Opal (1995)

8. Roxanne (1995)

9. Fran (1996)

10. Hortense (1996)

11. Allison (2001)

12. Iris (2001)

13. Michelle (2001)

14. Lili (2002)

15. Isabel (2003)

16. Frances (2004)

17. Jeanne (2004)

18. Katrina (2005)

19. Rita (2005)

20. Wilma (2005)

21. Paloma (2008)

22. Irene (2011)

Since 1953, the National Hurricane Center came up with lists of names for Atlantic tropical storms. An international committee of the World Meteorological Organization now maintains and updates these lists.

Such names serve more than fodder for pitting males and females against one another. Experience has shown that short, distinctive names are especially important in communicating detailed storm information in an efficient way, according to the National Hurricane Center.