BBC Home
Explore the BBC


Extreme weather

Last Updated: Thursday October 03 2002 17:04 GMT

Why do storms have names?


Tropical storms like hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons last a long time and are given names to be identified quickly.

There can be 100 storms a year and sailors need to be able to tell them apart.

The first storm of a year will have an A name, like Hurricane Alice or Typhoon Andrew, the next one gets a B name and so on.

There are regular meetings of weather scientists who decided on new names for the next year.

Names of storms which cause a lot of damage are never used again.