Do the names Dennis, Nina, and Maria sound scary to you? Well, they should! All three are the names of deadly typhoons or hurricanes. But why do these scary storms have such safe-sounding names? The answer can be either complicated or simple, depending on where the storm occurs. The idea of naming storms after people seems to have originated in the 1890s, when an Australian meteorologist began naming storms after politicians he didnt like and women. In the 1940s, as meteorologists continued to name storms after their girlfriends or wives, this practice became a system. They thought womens names were easier to transmit over the radio than names based on a storms location. Around a decade later, the United States National Weather Service created a list of female names to use for storms, adding male names to the list later on. Now, America uses a system of six alphabetical lists, each with 21 names. Names starting with q, u, x, y, and z arent included because theyre uncommon in English. Every year, a different list is used, with the cycle repeating itself every six years. The lists change only if theres a particularly bad storm, which is why you wont be seeing another Hurricane Katrina or Sandy.