Danny, Elsa and Fred are just some of the names that could make headlines during this Atlantic Ocean tropical storm season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released a list of 17 names for the 2021 Atlantic season that also includes Ana, Bill, Claudette, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.
Ana already formed last month off the coast of Bermuda, the first named storm of the season, followed by Bill on June 15 around Nova Scotia and Claudette Saturday near the Southeastern U.S. Typically, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 though November 30 across the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, said the NOAA. Eastern Pacific hurricanes usually start earlier, around May 15.
According to the NOAA, “experience shows that the use of short, distinctive names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error,” than other ways of identifying storms.
Saint names and women’s names had been used to name storms for hundreds of years and the U.S. began a program for using male and female names in 1979. The World Meteorological Organization is responsible for naming the storms using lists provided by the National Hurricane Center, which is part of the NOAA.
There are six lists of storm names that are recycled every six years.
Occasionally, names are retired if they are used for a particularly notable or destructive storm. Recent examples of retired names include Katrina, Sandy, Harvey and Irma.
In a May 20 news release the NOAA said there is a 60 percent chance that this tropical storm season will be more active than average, so there is a good chance the list of names will be put to use.