Harvey, Irma − who’s next? 2017 hurricane names

Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas and caused billions of dollars in damage. Hurricane Irma has reached Category 5 status and is headed for the East Coast. Tropical Storm Jose is already forming in the Caribbean east of Irma.

Jose is the 10th name on the list of planned Atlantic tropical and subtropical storm names for 2017. The World Meteorological Organization selects names in advance for tropical storms, the strongest of which become hurricanes. 

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Future 2017 Atlantic tropical storms will be named:

  • Katia
  • Lee
  • Maria
  • Nate
  • Ophelia
  • Philippe
  • Rina
  • Sean
  • Tammy
  • Vince
  • Whitney

This year has already used the names:

  • Arlene
  • Bret
  • Cindy
  • Don
  • Emily
  • Franklin
  • Gert
  • Harvey
  • Irma

Names of storms are often reused. However, any country can request the World Meteorological Organization retire the name of a particularly destructive hurricane. The list of retired names includes famous disasters such as Hurricane Hugo (1989), Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012). 

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Storm names alternate between male and female names. Storms in the Central and West Pacific have do not run out of names as they cycle through long lists of human names. For East Pacific and Atlantic names, storm watchers use a pre-selected set of human names. When these run out, they name the storms by Greek letters like Alpha and Beta. 

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