"Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization," according to the National Hurricane Center.
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The list of names for Atlantic tropical storms for 2017 include: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney. Hurricanes are named after humans because it’s easier to remember than meteorological terms or numbers.
"If a storm forms in the off-season, it will take the next name in the list based on the current calendar date. For example, if a tropical cyclone formed on Dec. 28, it would take the name from the previous season's list of names. If a storm formed in February, it would be named from the subsequent season's list of names. In the event that more than twenty-one named tropical cyclones occur in the Atlantic basin in a season, additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet," according to the National Hurricane Center.
Learn more about the history of how hurricanes are named.
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