Storm names explained: How do you REALLY say Isaias?


MOBILE, ALA. (WKRG)- You may be wondering how storms get their names, including the one right now, that a lot of people are saying wrong. News 5’s Meteorologist Colleen Peterson is breaking down the system on how storms get named.

The National Hurricane Center released its first set of names in 1953. The World Meteorological Organization now maintains and updates the naming system

There are 6 lists of names that are recycled every 6 years. The current 2020 Atlantic hurricane names are the same names that were used in 2014.

The only way a new name will be introduced is if a name is “retired”. This means the storm was so deadly or costly that it would be inappropriate to use it again.

For example, the name Katrina was on the list for many years but retired in 2005 after that storm claimed more than 1800 lives. Around 90 names have been retired including Michael from the devastating category 5 storm that hit Florida in 2018.  

The names include a mix of origins from the areas impacted by Atlantic Tropical Cyclones. That’s why you’ll hear pronunciations that area different from what you may be used to here in America.

The current storm we are tracking, ISAIAS, replaced the name IKE back in 2008.

There is certainly a lot of confusion about how to say it. The OFFICIAL Pronunciation is (ees-ah-EE-ahs).


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