How are hurricane names picked?

First a little history, hurricanes used to be named based on latitude and longitude. The process switched over to using names in order to make the process easier and more accurate.

After much debate and some trial and error. The United States started using female names for storms in 1953.

As time went on,  American culture changed, there was a call to add male names to the list, which finally happened in 1978 and 1979.

Currently, there is a six year cycle of hurricane names. The lists are only edited if a storm is significant enough in terms of damage and cost that re-using the name could cause confusion. 

Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has retired 78 names.

There are 21 names in each of the yearly lists. If all the names are used, other storms after use letters of the Greek alphabet, beginning with alpha.

This has only happened once, in 2005.

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