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Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal will kick off a rough hurricane season, forecasters say

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Multiple hurricanes swirled in the Atlantic at one point in 2018. Photo: NOAA

Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal will kick off a rough hurricane season, forecasters say.

For this year, which is predicted to be more active than normal, the coming storms will have names recycled from the 2014 season.

The names are:

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cristobal
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fay
  • Gonzalo
  • Hanna
  • Isaiah
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Laura
  • Framework
  • Nana
  • Omar
  • Paulette
  • René
  • Sally
  • Teddy
  • Vicky
  • Wilfred

Colorado State University sees a very active season ahead, with 16 named tropical cyclones of which eight will be tropical storms, four moderate hurricanes (categories 1 and 2 on the SaffirSimpson scale) and four intense (categories 3, 4, and 5).

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, peaks Sept. 10 and ends Nov. 30, although hurricanes can form at any time. Forecasts do not accurately predict where storms could occur.

So who gets to name these storms?

Prior to the 1950s, meteorologists kept track of hurricanes and tropical storms by the year and sequence, such as “Storm 6 of 1948.”

Notorious storms were called things like “the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane,” which did so much damage that the Miami government implemented the first known building code in the United States.

Meteorologists found it tricky to track storms, particularly if there was more than one at any given time. By 1953, meteorologists around the United States were using names for tropical storms and cyclones.

At first, the men in the World Meteorological Organization thought it fitting to give the storms female names. That changed by 1978, and now we alternate genders.

Six lists of names are in rotation, which is why 2020’s list looks like 2014’s.

But if a hurricane becomes famous, such as Katrina, Sandy, or Harvey, the name is retired and replaced by a different name beginning with the same letter.

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