Hurricane Season 2019: Where Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?

Aug 1, 2019

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center monitor storm systems in the ocean long before they threaten land, and often identify tropical cyclones long before they become hurricanes.

Storms like this only get names once they reach the level of a tropical storm, which have sustained wind speeds of 39 to 73 miles per hour.

Credit National Weather Service

Once a storm is that strong, it gets a name drawn from an alphabetical list. Each year's first tropical storm gets an "A" name, Andrea this year. The names cycle every six years, so the next time we could see a Tropical Storm Andrea is 2025.

But if a storm is too deadly or costly, the World Meteorological Organization retires its name. The storms that have devastated parts of Georgia in recent years have all been retired; we will never have a Hurricane Michael, Irma or Matthew again. Other major storm names like Sandy, Katrina, Andrew and Hugo are also retired.

RELATED: Complete List Of Retired Hurricane Names

The Atlantic has seen five tropical storms so far in 2019: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian and Erin. The next storm to get strong enough for a name will be called Fernand.

Subtropical Storm Andrea

Andrea formed before the official, June 1 start of hurricane season, organizing east of the Bahamas on May 20, 2019. The storm weakened to a subtropical depression the following day, with winds of 35 miles per hour, and then dissipated.

Hurricane Barry

The first hurricane of the 2019 season, Hurricane Barry, formed in the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened into a hurricane on July 13. Barry made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Intracoastal City, Louisiana, then gradually weakened as it moved inland.

International Space Station Astronaut Christina Koch captured this image of Barry on July 11 from the space station.
Credit Christina Koch / NASA

Hurricane Barry caused extensive damage in Louisiana, including in Lafayette, Lake Charles and Baton Rouge. One man was killed by a rip current off the coast of the Florida Panhandle on July 15.

Tropical Storm Chantal

Chantal formed in the North Atlantic on Aug. 21. It was brief and did not threaten land, and was forecast to become a remnant on Aug. 23.

Hurricane Dorian

Forecasters are still tracking Dorian, which formed on Aug. 24 and is expected to impact islands including Puerto Rico and, later, the U.S. mainland. Dorian intensified to a hurricane on Aug. 28. GPB will continue to monitor Dorian and report on any updates as its track and potential impacts develop.

Tropical Storm Erin

A tropical depression far off the coast of the Carolinas intensified into Tropical Storm Erin on Aug. 27. By the following morning, it was again considered a tropical depression, forecast to travel north in the Atlantic Ocean before dissipating in the following days.

The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Names:

  • Andrea
  • Barry
  • Chantal
  • Dorian
  • Erin
  • Fernand
  • Gabrielle
  • Humberto
  • Imelda
  • Jerry
  • Karen
  • Lorenzo
  • Melissa
  • Nestor
  • Olga
  • Pablo
  • Rebekah
  • Sebastien
  • Tanya
  • Van
  • Wendy

This post will be updated throughout hurricane season.