Tropical Storm Beta approaching Central America
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Tropical Storm Beta approaching Central America

November 21, 2007
Tropical Storm Beta was approaching Central America when this image was acquired on October 27, 2005. Beta is the 23rd named storm in the Caribbean during the 2005 hurricane season. The first 21 storms were given names that started with the letters of the Roman alphabet, “A” through “W”. By convention, “Q”, “U”, “X”, “Y”, and “Z” are not used; instead, additional names are taken from the Greek alphabet. The 22nd storm was named “Alpha”, while the next storms will be named “Gamma”, “Delta”, and so forth. According to the National Weather Service, hurricanes are given names in order to make communication about them easier. During World War II, Army and Navy meteorologists would often name them after their wives or girlfriends. In 1979, the National Weather Service began to use men´s names as well as women´s. If a name becomes well known, usually because the hurricane was particularly destructive, it will be retired to prevent confusion; examples include Agnes (1972) and Andrew (1992).

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