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A few of these storm names may sound familiar.

By Mary Tomlinson

The 2018 hurricane season has begun, and with that comes the annual list of tropical storm and hurricane names that will be used to identify storms in the Atlantic Ocean.

The practice of officially naming storms dates back to 1953 when the World Meteorological Organization began maintaining the list originated by the National Hurricane Center. Before, storms were named after the particular saint’s day on which the hurricane occurred, latitude-longitude methods, or the phonetic alphabet. The officially sanctioned list of names made international communications about storms much simpler.

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The official WMO & NHC list originally used only women’s names, but in 1979 men’s names were added to the lists. Today, there are six sanctioned lists of hurricane names used in rotation, and the list only changes when a storm name is retired due to sensitivity of a particularly damaging storm (i.e. Katrina, Sandy, Maria, and others).

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Atlantic Ocean hurricane names for the 2018 season

Alberto
Beryl
Chris
Debby
Ernesto
Florence
Gordon
Helene
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Michael
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sara
Tony
Valerie
William

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Subtropical storm Alberto, the first storm of the 2018 hurricane season, made landfall in late May. The hurricane predictions for the 2018 season form the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal.