At first, the people who named the hurricanes were people who knew hurricanes very well—they were Puerto Ricans. The small island of Puerto Rico is located in the West Indies, opposite the coast of Florida. It is from here that all hurricanes hit the east coast of the United States. A hurricane often passes near Puerto Rico, or it sweeps across Puerto Rico on its way north. When the hurricane arrived after Saint's Day, people gave it a name. Two of the most destructive storms: one in Santa Ana in 1825 and one in St. Liekou in 1899.
A girl's name for a hurricane is a novel and pretty good idea. It started with the 1941 story "Storm" by George Stewart. In this story, there is a weather forecaster who names each storm based on the girls he knows, and he just makes himself happy. He named a storm Maria. The story describes how Maria was formed and developed, and how she changed people's lives when she attacked America.
The same system was used by weather forecasters in the U.S. Army and Navy during World War II. They study the weather in the Pacific Ocean. One of their tasks is to warn American ships and planes when a storm is approaching. Whenever they spotted a storm, they named it a girl's name. The first storm of the year had a name beginning with A, the second with a B. They used all the letters from A to W, however, the storm continued to come. Therefore, they had to use 3 columns of all the letters from A to W in order to have enough names to cycle through. This is the first time that hurricane names are listed alphabetically. In 1952, the Bureau of Meteorology started using this system as a model.
Before 1950, the US Weather Service had no special system for naming hurricanes. When a hurricane is born in the Indies, the Bureau of Meteorology just gathers some information, reporting how fast the hurricane is moving, and where it's heading next. The weather forecast warns people in the area where the hurricane passes so that people can take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
This system works well as long as the weather forecast reports only one hurricane at a time. However, in one week in September 1950, three hurricanes came at the same time. Then, things start to get messy. Some people have confused these hurricanes and don't know which is which. This situation has convinced people at the Bureau of Meteorology that they desperately need a codename for hurricanes to avoid confusion in the future.
In 1951, at a meeting of weather forecasters, it was decided to use the alphabetical order of the alphabet to name hurricanes. For radio, each letter is emitted as a word. They use the Army's alphabet codes: ABLE, BAKER, CHARLIE, DOG EASY, etc. Then they found some foreign stations that also agreed to use other code words to replace those letters in the alphabet. Thus, the situation is again confused. The next year, the weathermen decided, alphabetically, to fix the problem by giving each hurricane its own name. The first list is: Alic, Barbara, Carol, Dol-ly, Edna, Florence, Gilda, Hazel, Irene, Jill, Katherine, Lucy, Mabel, Norma, Orpha, Patsy, Queen, Rach, U, S, Vicky and Wallis.
Whenever newspapers and radio stations track a hurricane named HAZEL and describe the extent of her devastation, the girl named HAZEL may be ridiculed by some of her friends. To avoid such problems, the Bureau of Meteorology said, "If there is any similarity between the name of a hurricane and the name of certain girls, it is purely accidental." In fact, it was accidental. Only two names may have been specially chosen. The name ORPHA, according to reports, was named after a girl who worked at the Weather Bureau. Another name is WAL-LIS, which is the name of the famous Duchess of Windsor - the name of a woman whose king abdicated because of her.
Some women were angry that the hurricane used their names. Sometimes they complain to the Bureau of Meteorology. However, many other women were proud to see their names on the front pages of newspapers. They didn't even care if their names were associated with those destructive hurricanes. Because it seems more women like that. As a result, the Bureau of Meteorology decided to continue to use the girl's name to name the hurricane.
In some ways, a hurricane is like a human being. When it is born, it grows, develops, then grows old, and finally dies. Each hurricane has its own characteristics and its own path forward. It will be remembered long after it has passed. So it seems natural to name hurricanes and comment on them as if they were real people.