WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written communications, as well as spoken, is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods.
These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.
The original name lists featured only women's names. In 1979, men's names were introduced and they alternate with the women's names.
Six lists are used in rotation, so the 2012 list will be used again in 2018.
2012 Storm Names: