An Australian weatherman, Clement Wragge, is credited as being the first person to name a tropical storm after girls names and political figures whom he disliked, dating back as the early 1900's.  

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Even before the early 1900's, Native Americans were referring to these storms as "Hurakons" after a "a great spirit who commanded the east wind."  Then Spanish explorers began giving hurricanes the names of patron saints.  By World War II, meteorologists in the U.S. military named storms after their wives and girlfriends.  Later, hurricanes were being identified by longitude and latitude.

In 1979, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made the decision to name hurricanes after men's names.  A proposal was made in 2004 to name hurricanes after US Senators and birds.  Well, that didn't fly.  Today, the World Meteorological Organization selects hurricane and tropical storm names alphabetically and alternates between women's and men's names.

                                 Hurricane Names for 2017

Atlantic Tropical (and Subtropical) Storm Names for 2017

Arlene Harvey Ophelia
Bret Irma Philippe
Cindy Jose Rina
Don Katia Sean
Emily Lee Tammy
Franklin Maria Vince
Gert Nate Whitney

 

Source: almanac.com and weather.com