Hurricanes, or tropical cyclones, are storm systems characterized by strong winds, heavy rain and a propensity for destruction. During hurricane season, it may seem as though there’s one storm after another. Though storms may both frighten and fascinate us, there’s a lot you may not know about them. Here are 3 things you didn’t know about hurricanes:
- A hurricane is only a hurricane when it forms over the Atlantic Ocean. If a storm forms over the northwest Pacific Ocean, it's called a typhoon. If it forms in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, it's called a cyclone.
- Tropical cyclones began receiving names in 1950 to make it easier for the public to know which particular storm warnings to follow. The World Meteorological Organization creates the list of names to be used for hurricane season, and for the Atlantic season, which runs from June to November. There are six annual lists with 21 names each. After a list has been used, it repeats every seventh year — unless a specific name is retired and replaced with a new one.
- When a tropical cyclone is so deadly or costly, the future use of its name on another storm is considered inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity, therefore, its name is retired. In 2005, many names were retired, such as Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma.
The next time a hurricane, typhoon or cyclone rolls around, you’ll be able to share these interesting facts with others which they may not have known either. For more fun facts, click here
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