2023 Atlantic Hurricane season names announced by WMO: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, and Don in the roster
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), based in Geneva, is responsible for choosing hurricanes names years in advance.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has revealed the list of names for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The roster begins with Arlene, Bret, Cindy, and Don, and should the year prove tempestuous, it may end with Whitney.
Here are the 21 names approved by WMO:
If all 21 names are used this year (which we hope doesn't happen), there is a supplementary list available:
Why Do We Name Storms?
Before the system of naming storms was implemented, forecasters had to refer to storms by their geographical location, such as "the storm 500 miles east-southeast of Miami." But as storms move, their descriptions had to change accordingly, leading to confusion. The situation was even more challenging when multiple storms were ongoing at the same time.
The Evolution of Storm Naming
To simplify communication, the U.S. adopted a system in 1953 of using female names for hurricanes. This system evolved in 1979 to include male names. Since then, the names have alternated between male and female. The names are arranged in alphabetical order, with each new storm getting the next name on the list. Interestingly, names beginning with Q, U, X, Y, and Z are omitted due to the lack of usable names that start with those letters3.
Retiring and Replacing Names
The WMO, based in Geneva, is responsible for choosing these names years in advance, adhering to strict criteria. If a hurricane proves particularly deadly or costly, its name is "retired" and replaced by another. For instance, the names Ian and Fiona were retired from the list of hurricane names due to the death and destruction they caused in 2022.