Science

Names of 2024's hurricanes have just been revealed – did yours make the list?


Over $25 billion in damage and at least 84 fatalities have already befallen the United States in 2024 due to weather events — and hurricane season has barely begun.

That economic data, pulled together by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), comes as the federal agency prepares for an ‘extraordinary’ hurricane season, forecasting 25 named storms coming at ‘above-normal’ power.

Now, the National Hurricane Center has released the names for the first 21 of those storms, according to the center’s spokesperson Maria Torres.

‘The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity,’ Torres said.

The class of retired names includes Hurricanes Katrina, Stan, Wilson and Rita.

Predictions for this year’s harsh storms are based on a developing La Niña, a weather system that occurs when equatorial trade winds strengthen and cause ocean currents to shift, combined with reduced Atlantic trade winds, NOAA advised.

Below is the list of hurricane and tropical storm names you are sure to be hearing more about all hurricane season long. 

Over $25 billion in damage and at least 84 fatalities have already befallen the United States in 2024 due to weather events - and hurricane season has barely begun

Over $25 billion in damage and at least 84 fatalities have already befallen the United States in 2024 due to weather events – and hurricane season has barely begun

That economic data comes as federal agencies prepare for an 'extraordinary' hurricane season, forecasting 25 named storms with 'above-normal' power. Now, the National Hurricane Center has released the names for the first 21 of those storms

That economic data comes as federal agencies prepare for an ‘extraordinary’ hurricane season, forecasting 25 named storms with ‘above-normal’ power. Now, the National Hurricane Center has released the names for the first 21 of those storms

‘Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center,’ Torres noted. 

‘Contrary to popular belief, the National Hurricane Center does not exclusively name Atlantic tropical storms,’ as she explained to Newsweek.

‘Rather, the list of names is maintained and updated by the Hurricane Committee of the World Meteorological Organization Region IV. NHC represents the United States on this committee,’ she said.

NOAA officials said that there could also be up to seven tropical cyclones this year with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour that could reach Category 3 or higher — the highest ever outlook given by the agency.

NOAA forecasted that up to 13 of the named storms could become hurricanes and up to seven may have wind speeds of 111 miles per hour

NOAA forecasted that up to 13 of the named storms could become hurricanes and up to seven may have wind speeds of 111 miles per hour

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1, though in recent years tropical storms have formed before that, prompting weather officials to consider moving up the start date. The image above shows 2020's category four Hurricane Laura seen via satellite over the Gulf Coast

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1, though in recent years tropical storms have formed before that, prompting weather officials to consider moving up the start date. The image above shows 2020’s category four Hurricane Laura seen via satellite over the Gulf Coast

‘Names selected are usually, but not always, common names,’ according to Torres. ‘They are also representative of the ethnicity of the region.’ 

‘In the Atlantic basin,’ she added, ‘the names are of English, Spanish, Portuguese origin, and a few French.’ 

The storm names are selected alphabetically, one for each letter of the alphabet, and until 2021 any further names needed were selected using the Greek alphabet. 

The devastating hurricane season of 2020 saw nine letters of the Greek alphabet enter use, leading to the names of powerhouse hurricanes Eta and Iota.

But the WMO Regional Association IV Hurricane Committee voted to stop using the Greek alphabet to name future storms the following year.

Those names are now selected from a supplemental list of names, agreed upon by the WMO.

Data on the damage already sustained across the US for the first five months of severe storms was published by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information this Monday.

‘There were 11 individual billion-dollar weather and climate events across the US during the first five months of 2024,’ according to administration officials, ‘each with losses exceeding $1 billion.’

‘These disasters consisted of nine severe storm events and two winter storms,’ NOAA said.



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