Hurricane Guide: 2008 Season Gets Busy

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

ON THIS PAGE Saffir-Simpson Scale | Deadliest | Costliest Vulnerable States | Busiest Months | 2008 Names



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Tropical Storm Names

Military weather forecasters began giving women's names to significant storms during WWII, then in 1950 the World Meteorological Organization agreed to an alphabetical naming system, using the military's radio code. The first named Atlantic hurricane was Able in 1950.

Officials soon realized the naming convention would cause problems in the history books if more than one powerful Hurricane Able made landfall. So, in 1953 the organization adopted a rotating series of women's names, planning to retire names of significant storms.

Feminists urged the WMO to add men's names, which was done in 1979. The boy-girl-boy-girl naming convention evolved to include French and Spanish names in the Atlantic system, reflecting the languages of the nations affected by Carribean hurricanes.

Twenty-one names are reserved each year (the letters q, u, x, y and z are not used), and the names are recycled every six years, minus those retired. When a name is retired, the World Meteorological Organization chooses a new name to replace it.

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SOURCE: National Hurricane Center Research by Michael Schirber and Robert Roy Britt

Image Galleries

From above ...

... and on the ground

  Summary by Category: Hurricanes that Hit U.S. Coast (Texas to Main) from 1900-2004

  Deadliest Atlantic-basin Hurricanes (Not updated to include Katrina in 2005)

  Costliest U.S. Hurricanes (adjusted for inflation, in year-2000 dollars) (Not updated to include Katrina in 2005)

  Direct Hits, 1900-2004

  Major Hurricanes (Cat. 3-5) to Hit U.S. Coast (Texas to Main) from 1900-2004

  2008 Names

Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay Gustav Hanna Ike Josephine Kyle Laura Marco Nana Omar Paloma Rene Sally Teddy Vicky Wilfred

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