How are hurricanes named?

This week’s weather question comes from Gari Jackson of Columbus.

He wants to know how hurricanes are named.

Tropical Cyclones’ names are now maintained and updated through an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

A tropical cyclone is not named after a particular person. There are strict guidelines for each region to come up with the list of names.

The male and female alternating names are particular to names that are familiar to that specific region of the world.

Names for the North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific Oceans are repeated every six years. In other words, the list in 2016 will also be used in 2022.

The only time this changes is when a name is retired. This happens when the storm is so devastating, costly or destructive it becomes infamous. The name is removed from the list and is never used again to avoid future confusion.

Here is a list of retired hurricane names.

More information on the naming processes – for each region of the world – can be found here.

If you have your own weather or science related question, email Meteorologist Carmen Rose at

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