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Here's how hurricanes are named — and how to see if you'll share a name with one

INSIDER logoINSIDER 9/13/2018 jshamsian@thisisinsider.com (Jacob Shamsian)

a person riding a wave on top of a mountain: hurricane irma © Provided by Business Insider Inc hurricane irma Hurricanes are given human names so they're easy to remember.The World Meteorological Organization has a list of names, used in six-year rotations.Check if your name is on the list. 

Hurricane Florence is headed toward North Carolina, and its poised to be among the most destructive in the state's history. As with previous hurricanes, it can be awkward for people who share a name with it.

If you've wondered if a hurricane will ever share your name, there's an easy way to check. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) keeps a list of names it uses. There are different names for each region of the world, and each region has six rotating lists.

That means that "Florence" can show up as hurricane names in 2024. But that's unlikely. The WMO retires the names of cyclones that are "particularly deadly or costly."

Here are the names that are designated for the "Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic" region — for storms that affect the US (scroll down for a searchable version of this list):

a screenshot of a cell phone: hurricane tropical cyclone names © Provided by Business Insider Inc hurricane tropical cyclone names

Head over to the WMO site to see if your name is applied to cyclones from other regions of the world.

Hurricanes, the WMO notes, aren't named after particular people. They're selected because they're familiar to people in different regions. That way, they're easy to remember and recognize for hurricane awareness and preparation.

Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Names:

2018

Alberto

Beryl

Chris

Debby

Ernesto

Florence

Gordon

Helene

Isaac

Joyce

Kirk

Leslie

Michael

Nadine

Oscar

Patty

Rafael

Sara 

Tony

Valerie

William

2019

Andrea

Barry

Chantal

Dorian

Erin

Fernand

Gabrielle

Humberto

Imelda

Jerry

Karen

Lorenzo

Melissa

Nestor

Olga

Pablo

Rebekah

Sebastien

Tanya

Van

Wendy

2020

Arthur

Bertha

Cristobal

Dolly

Edouard

Fay

Gonzalo

Hanna

Isaias

Josephine

Kyle

Laura

Marco

Nana

Omar

Paulette

Rene

Sally

Teddy

Vicky

Wilfred

2021

Ana

Bill

Claudette

Danny

Elsa

Fred

Grace

Henri

Ida

Julian

Kate

Larry

Mindy

Nicholas

Odette

Peter

Rose

Sam

Teresa

Victor

Wanda

2022

Alex

Bonnie

Colin

Danielle

Earl

Fiona

Gaston

Hermine

Ian

Julia

Karl

Lisa

Martin

Nicole

Owen

Paula

Richard

Shary

Tobias

Virginie

Walter

Related video: Harvey, Maria Among Those Retired As Hurricane Names (Provided by CBS Philly)

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