Hurricanes have been given names since the early 1900’s, when an Australian weatherman would give names to storms he tracked to help keep them apart. He enjoyed naming them after politicians he didn’t like so that could talk about the destruction that they caused. When the U.S. Army got heavily into weather forecasting during World War II, workers there would start to nickname the storm systems after their wives and girlfriends, to give them their 15 minutes of fame. Soon they began to start with A and move through the letters of the alphabet, to make tracking the systems easier. In 1953, the National Weather Service picked up on the habit of Navy meteorologists of naming the storms after women. Ships were always referred to as female and were often given women's names. At that time they believed the storms' temperament certainly seemed female enough through the shifting directions at a whim on a moment's notice.
In 1970, the National Weather service had this responsibility, and moved to include men’s names as well. Names are chosen for 6 years in a row, and then cycle around to the first set of names again. If a storm is truly memorable, that name is retired and a new one chosen to take its place.