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This Is How Cyclone Debbie Got Her Name

You don’t get much more Aussie than the name ‘Debbie’, but have you ever wondered how the cyclone in north Queensland ended up being called just that?

The name is one of 104 that are used by the Bureau of Meteorology to name tropical cyclones in Australia.

When a cyclone forms off the Australian coast, the Bureau chooses the next name off the list based on its sequential order.

The exception to this rule is when a cyclone is first named in another country’s zone of responsibility – like Cyclone Yasi.

Following a particularly notable Cyclone, think Cyclone Tracy which killed at least 66 people on Christmas Day in 1974, the name is retired from the list.

And what happens when they reach the end of the list? They go back to the start – of course with a few replacements to fill the spots of those names that have been retired.



The current list of names was introduced at the start of the 2008/09 season, the fourth list to have been used in Australia.

To be an eligible name, the World Meteorological Organization Regional Tropical Cyclone Committee for the SE Pacific consider how easy it is to spell, pronounce and if it is too similar to other names used on the list.

Always fancied having a cyclone named after you or someone you know? Well don’t hold your breath!

While they do accept requests in writing (not email!), it’s a long process with the name added to a supplementary list to wait for a name of similar gender and initial to be retired.

There have been so many requests that the Bureau has already closed the following categories:

Male: A, B, F, J, R, S, T, W, X, Y, Z

Female: A, B, G, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, W, X, Y, Z 

So it may take some time to have you ex’s name making headlines - unless her name is Debbie!

Top Photo: AAP

WATCH: The Incredible Footage Of Cyclone Debbie From Space!

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