Following are the official names of 2008 Atlantic, Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific tropical storms and hurricanes, as released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 2008 season's first named storm, Tropical Storm Alma, an Eastern Pacific storm, was announced by the National Hurricane Center on May 28 as having formed off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.

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Atlantic names: There are six standing name lists for Atlantic storms, with one list used per year, meaning that storm names are recycled every six years.

The Atlantic lists have 21 names each, and if they run out in a given year, Greek letter names are used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and so on.

Earlier this month, the World Meteorological Organization, which decides official storm names worldwide, permanently retired the names Dean, Felix and Noel from the Atlantic lists.

Storms bearing those names killed 32, 130 and 160 people respectively in the Caribbean and Central America during the 2007 hurricane season.

Atlantic storms form in a specific patch of ocean between West Africa and the eastern Caribbean and generally move west or west-northwest into Central America or up the East Coast, though occasionally one will swing wildly east to hit western Europe.

The 2008 Atlantic storm names are Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paloma, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

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Eastern Pacific names: There are also six standing lists for Eastern Pacific storms, but with 24 names each. Like the Atlantic storm names, the lists recycle every six years.

Eastern Pacific storms generally form just southwest of Mexico and sometimes move north into California, Mexico or Central America. The 2008 season's first named storm, Tropical Storm Alma, was announced May 29 as having formed off the Pacific coast of Nicaragua.

The 2008 Eastern Pacific names are Alma, Boris, Cristina, Douglas, Elida, Fausto, Genevieve, Hernan, Iselle, Julio, Karina, Lowell, Marie, Norbert, Odile, Polo, Rachel, Simon, Trudy, Vance, Winnie, Xavier, Yolanda and Zeke.

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Central Pacific names: There are four standing name lists of 12 names each for Central Pacific storms, but the names are used one after the other regardless of year; the first storm name in a given season will follow the last one used in the previous season. The next name to be used is Kika.

Central Pacific storms rarely make landfall, though Hurricane Iniki hit the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai in 1992, causing 6 deaths.

Possible 2008 Central Pacific names: Kika, Lana, Maka, Neki, Omeka, Pewa, Unala and Wali.

Sources: NOAA.