Who comes up with hurricane names, and why do they name them after people?

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by Jeff Renner

Bio | Email | Follow: @Jeffrennerwx

KING5.com

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 14 at 9:20 AM

Who comes up with hurricane names, and why do they name them after people?"

The hurricane names (and also tropical storm names) are developed by regional committees of the World Meteorological Organization, or WMO. They're assigned in alphabetical order...but only for a given region (Atlantic or Pacific). That's why the Pacific may only be in the "B's" such as "Betty" while the Atlantic may already be in the "E's" such as Edward.

In 1953, the WMO began using peoples' names; only women's names were used. Then in 1979, the WMO began using the names of both women and men; they alternated from one gender to the next, using a mix of Spanish, French and English-language names.

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