A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Monday, September 19, 2005

Atlantic Storm Names

I was just wondering about what they would do about this today.

CNN.com: Atlantic storm names may go Greek---

CNN) -- Forecasters could run out of names for tropical storms and hurricanes before the season ends November 30.

The Atlantic basin has seen 17 named storms since season began June 1, and only four are left on the list.

What's a meteorologist to do if the names run out? Go Greek.

Should the Atlantic see more than 21 named storms "additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and so on," according to the National Hurricane Center Web site.

"We only have four names left on the list this year: Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma. If we have a fifth storm it would be named Alpha," said Daniel Brown, a meteorologist at the center, which is based in Miami, Florida.

At the beginning of each Atlantic storm season, the center publishes a list of 21 storm names. They alternate male and female names in alphabetical order.

The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are skipped because not enough names start with those letters, Brown said.

Hurricane Alpha would be a first for the hurricane center.

"There was one year in 1933 we actually had 21 storms. That's been the most in the Atlantic. However, it was before we started naming storms" Brown said.

The National Weather Service started naming storms in 1953 as way to reduce confusion over the latitude-longitude naming method.

In 1979 Atlantic male names were included, putting to an end the practice of naming hurricane's only after women.

What makes a good storm name? According to the National Weather Service, short, distinctive given names work best.
You can read the rest of the article and find a list of 2005 Storm Names by using the link.

I kind of think naming storms after women was smarter. We do tend to have emotional "storms." :)