Generally there are two ways to name typhoons: the number-based convention and the list-based convention. Following the number-based convention, typhoons are coded with types of numbers such as a 4-digit or a 6-digit code. For example, the 14th typhoon in 2003 can be labeled either as Typhoon 0314 or Typhoon 200314. The of this convention, however, is that a number is hard to remember. The list-based convention, on the other hand, is based on the list of typhoon names compiled in advance by a committee, and is more widely used.
At the very beginning, only names were used because at that time typhoons were named after girlfriends or wives of the experts on the committee. In 1979, however, male names were also included because women protested against the original naming for reasons of gender equality.
In Asia, Western names were used until 2000 when the committee decided to use Asian names to practice Asians’ awareness of typhoons. The names were chosen from a name pool of 140 names, 10 each from the 14 members of the committee. Each country has its unique naming preferences. Korea and Japan animal names and China likes names of gods such as Longwang (dragon king) and Fengshen (god of the wind).
After the 140 names are all used in order, they will be . But the names can be changed. If a member country suffers great damage from a certain typhoon, it can that the name of the typhoon be deleted from the list at the annual committee meeting. For example, the names of Nabi by South Korea, and Longwang by China were with other names in 2007. The deletion of both names was due to the severe damage caused by the typhoons bearing the names.