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Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Storm trivia

In the aftermath of Katrina, trivia buffs may be asking themselves a lot of questions regarding storms. - for example, why and how are storms named? The information below, is cut and pasted from various sources.

The answers to most of these questions can be found in the National Hurricane Center website. First, their reason for naming hurricanes:

Why are hurricanes named after people?
The use of easily remembered names greatly reduces confusion when two or more tropical storms occur at the same time. For example, one hurricane can be moving slowly westward in the Gulf of Mexico , while at exactly the same time anothe hurricane can be moving rapidly Northward along the Atlantic coast. In the past, confusion and false rumors have arisen when storm advisories broadcast from radio statio were mistaken for warning concerning an entirely different storm located hundreds of miles away.

How are hurricanes named?
For several hundred years many hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint's day on which the hurricane occurred. [..] Tannehill also tells of Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist who began giving women's names to tropical storms before the end of the l9th century. An early example of the use of a woman's name for a storm was in the novel "Storm" by George R . Stewart, published by Random House in 1941, and since filmed by Walt Disney. During World War II this practice became widespread in weather map discussions among forecasters, especially Air Force and Navy meteorologists who plotted the movements of storms over the wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean.In 1953, the United States abandoned as confusing a two-year old plan to name storms by a phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie) when a new, international phonetic alphabet was introduced. That year, this Nation's weather services began using female names for storms.

The practice of naming hurricanes solely after women came to an end in 1978 when men's and women's names were included in the Eastern North Pacific storm lists. In 1979, male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.

When are hurricane names retired?
Whenever a hurricane has had a major impact, any country affected by the storm can request that the name of the hurricane be “retired” by agreement of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Where can I find the names of storms occurring across the world?
Here. The ones to follow Katrina are : Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy
Vince, Wilma.

Only the Fijian storms have Hindu-sounding names: Meena, Nisha, Mona, and Gita.

Related site: Hurricane Hunters.

2 Comments:

Blogger zap said...

Super research!

8:17 PM  
Anonymous razdan said...

also, to keep things extremely PC, the "boy" and "girl" names alternate, with the "boy" names being even number and the "girl" names being odd ones.

4:31 PM  

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