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Ask a Silly Question

November 30, 1999

Why are hurricanes named?

Hurricanes are named to provide ease of communication between forecasters and the public regarding forecasts, watches and warnings, according to the National Weather Service.

Since the storms can last a week or longer and more than one can occur in the same area at the same time, names can reduce the confusion about what storm is being described.

Authorities believe the first use of a proper name for a hurricane was by an Australian forecaster early in this century, who named them after political figures he disliked.

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The 1999 hurricane season, which ended Tuesday, was busy. Of the eight hurricanes, five were considered major.

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