gave tropical cyclone names "after political figures whom he
disliked" (true story) and "by properly naming a hurricane, the weatherman could publicly
describe a politician as 'causing great distress' or 'wandering aimlessly
about the Pacific.' "
World War II, US Army Air Corp and Navy meteorologists named Pacific storms after
their girlfriends or wives, just like pilots had done with their fighter planes (although you'll have to decide for yourself whether the women
were happy with having terrible cyclones named after them!)
1950 to 1952, tropical cyclones, including hurricanes in the North Atlantic Ocean,
were identified by the standard radio names: Able; Baker; Charlie;... etc., but
in 1953 the US Weather Bureau switched back to women's names. Then, in a politically
correct move in 1979, the WMO and the US National Weather Service (NWS) added
names for cyclonic events, like hurricanes, that are potential international disasters
takes the work of an international group. Names for these storms are approved
by a committee of the World Meteorological
Organization. There are six
lists of hurricane names. The names are reused every six years unless a storm
creates enough havoc to have its name retired. [Retired
But why name hurricanes at all?
Names just makes it easier to warn people about the dangerous ones. During peak hurricane season
in late summer, there may be several storms heading in the same direction at the
same time. If each one has a name, it makes talking about the storms
the name list started in in 1950, the furthest they have gone down the list has
been in recording-breaking year of 2005, the first season to use "V"
and "W" names.
fact, after using up all 21 names, forecasters resorted to using letters from
the Greek alphabet for the first time, dubbing the last storms of that year Alpha,
Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.
Katrina Cramer-Diaz is a working mom with a background in education
and plenty of experience in parenting. She lives in Virginia with her