The names used have diversified since then, with a list drawn up ahead of each hurricane season and ticked off as each named storm develops. Particularly devastating hurricanes cause names to be retired, which is why we won’t see a Hurricane Katrina, for example, again.
From 1953, female names were used for hurricanes, prompting an outcry. “You can imagine that women did not want something as destructive as a hurricane to be associated with their sex alone, so with the feminist movement pushing the issue, in 1979 males and female names alternated,” Collins explained.
This does appear to make a difference, at least in psychological terms. In 2014, US researchers found that Americans are less afraid of hurricanes with female names. “People imagining a ‘female’ hurricane were not as willing to seek shelter,” said study co-author Sharon Shavitt.