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Subject: B5) What happens to the name of a tropical cyclone if it moves from the Atlantic regions to the Northeast Pacific, or vice versa? Contributed by Chris Landsea

The rule used to be that if the tropical storm or hurricane moved into a different basin (see F1 for more about the basins), then it was renamed to whatever name was next on the list for the area. The last time that this occurred was in July 1996 when Atlantic basin Tropical Storm Cesar moved across Central America and was renamed Northeast Pacific basin Tropical Storm Douglas. The last time that a Northeast Pacific system moved into the Atlantic basin was in June 1989 when Cosme became Allison.

However, these rules have now changed at the National Hurricane Center and if the system remains a tropical cyclone as it moves across Central America, then it will keep the original name. Only if the tropical cyclone dissipates with just a tropical disturbance remaining, will the hurricane warning center give the system a new name assuming it becomes a tropical cyclone once again in its new basin.

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