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The tradition of assigning names to hurricanes began hundreds of years ago when the tropical storms were named after the particular saints day on which they occurred. This allowed people to track the storms by assigning a specific name to it.
An Australian meteorologist, Clement Wragge, began assigning hurricanes the names of women in the late 19th century. The practice continued until 1978 when the names of both men and women were first included in the storm lists.