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Hurricane Epsilon ... the 27th tropical cyclone of 2005
Hurricane Epsilon ... the 27th tropical cyclone of 2005

Weather forecasters have learned over the years that short, distinctive names in written and spoken communications is quicker and more effective than previous naming conventions based on latitude-longitude methods.

Beginning in1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

Tropical depressions are given a sequential "TD" number during a given hurricane season. A name is assigned when a tropical cyclone reaches "tropical storm" strength.

The original name lists used only women's names, but beginning in 1979 men's names were introduced. Male and female names now alternate through the hurricane season. A list of hurricanes for six years is used, and the same names rotated and re-used. In the event of a cataclysmic hurricane, the name is retired, removed from rotation, and replaced with a new name.

In the event that more than 21 named tropical cyclones occur in the Atlantic basin in a season, additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, etc. This was the case in the 2005 hurricane season.

Hurricane Names for 2014

Arthur
Bertha
Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gonzalo
Hanna
Isaias
Josephine
Kyle
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paulette
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred

Hurricane Names for 2015

Ana
Bill
Claudette
Danny
Erika
Fred
Grace
Henri
Ida
Joaquin
Kate
Larry
Mindy
Nicholas
Odette
Peter
Rose
Sam
Teresa
Victor
Wanda

List of Retired Hurricane Names

The names of costly and deadly storms are retired, and removed from lists for future years. Shown below is a list of retired hurricane names, and the year in which the hurricane occurred. The latest name to be retired, in April of 2013, is "Sandy", the "superstorm" which hit the upper Atlantic coastline in late October, 2012. Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history, surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Shown below is a list of retired hurricane names, and the year in which the hurricane occurred.

Agnes 1972 Edna 1968 Isabel 2003
Alicia 1983 Elena 1985 Isidore 2002
Allen 1980 Eloise 1975 Ivan 2004
Allison 2001 Fabian 2003 Janet 1955
Andrew 1992 Felix 2007 Jeanne 2004
Anita 1977 Fifi 1974 Joan 1988
Audrey 1957 Flora 1963 Juan 2003
Betsy 1965 Floyd 1999 Katrina 2005
Beulah 1967 Fran 1996 Keith 2000
Bob 1991 Frances 2004 Klaus 1990
Camille 1969 Frederic 1979 Lenny 1999
Carla 1961 Georges 1998 Lili 2002
Carmen 1974 Gilbert 1988 Luis 1995
Carol 1954 Gloria 1985 Marilyn 1995
Celia 1970 Gustav 2008 Michelle 2001
Cesar 1996 Hattie 1961 Mitch 1998
Charley 2004 Hazel 1954 Noel 2007
Cleo 1964 Hilda 1964 Opal 1995
Connie 1955 Hortense 1996 Paloma 2008
David 1979 Hugo 1989 Rita 2005
Dean 2007 Igor 2010 Roxanne 1995
Dennis 2005 Ike 2008 Sandy 2012
Diana 1990 Inez 1966 Stan 2005
Diane 1955 Ione 1955 Tomas 2010
Donna 1960 Irene 2011 Wilma 2005
Dora 1964 Iris 2001