The government, bowing to pressure from women's groups protesting the use of only female names for hurricanes, is introducing the "himmicane" this year - topical storms named after men.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday that it will begin naming some of the Pacific storms after men this year and probably will do the same for Atlantic storms next year.
Every other storm will be a male, with male and famale names alternating for the first storm each year.
"There's been some pressure in the United States, no question about it, to move away from using female names exclusively," said Neil Frank, head of the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
"So, we went to the international community and they said, 'yeah', they understand the problem and they were willing to consider use of male-famale names in 1979," Frank said.
The new system can take effect with the Pacific storms this year because only the United States and Mexico are involved. Both have agreed to the change.
In the Atlantic there are 21 nations involved. A special hurricane committee of the World Meteorological Organization has accepted a U.S. suggestion for male names there.
This year's list for the Pacific storms along the West Coast of the United States and Mexico in Aletta, Bud, Charlotta, Daniel, Emilia, Fico, Gilma, Hector, Iva, John, Kristy, Lane, Miriam, Norman, Olivia, Paul, Rosa, Sergio, Tara, Vicente and Willa.
The order for this year in the Atlantic is Amelia, Bess, Cora, Debra, Ella, Flossie, Greta, Hope, Irma, Juliet, Kendra, Louise, Martha, Noreen, Ora, Paula Rosalie, Susan, Tanya, Venessa and Wanda.
But next year Americans along the eastern seaboard can expect to look for Ana, Bob, Claudette, David, Elena, Frederic, Gloria, Henri, Isabel, Juan, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicolas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.