MIKE MOSS SAYS: Sally, The current convention of using human names for Atlantic tropical cyclones began in 1953, and since that time all tropical cyclones that reach a sustained wind speed of 39 mph or higher have received names, just as Gabrielle did. In fact, the first system under the new naming procedure in 1953 never reached hurricane strength, and so went in the record books as Tropical Storm Alice. You may be thinking of the fact that when a tropical system develops a closed circulation, it is given a number rather than a name, and called "Tropical Depression #" and so on. There was also a Tropical Storm Hazel in 1953, followed by the famous Hurricane Hazel in 1954. At the time, the names were re-used each year, but later were placed on a six-year rotating schedule. In addition, only female names were used from 1953 throuh 1978. Since then, male and female names alternate.
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