Wednesday, September 22, 2004

To name a storm or two

I am saturated right now. With fats, work, caffeine and other exigencies of modern-day living. The past few days made me realize why blogging cannot be a daily affair. Its one thing to have content to write everyday and another to have time to do so. Of course, if I could rant about my work, I’d be blogging 24 hours a day, but am bound by the non-disclosure agreement :-) Actually, work has been pretty interesting off late.

Anyway, to get to the point. It is hurricane season in America.

‘Ivan comes, Charlie goes;
This will break my house, don’t you know’

No, this isn’t mine. I remember these juvenile lyrics of a song called ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ from a long time ago. Just tweaked them around a little.

I was curious to know how they name these hurricanes. After all, not all people with the name ‘Charlie’ could be singled out for such special recognition. What’s wrong with the name Parth? Turns out that the weather guys have a system for it. All hurricanes are given names to help us identify storms and track them as they move across the ocean. But what’s the reason that they have names? Remember, there can be more than one hurricane at a time and without naming them, we could get confused and not know which storm we're talking about. The World Meteorological Organization is responsible for the names. The most destructive names (oops, hurricane names) are retired. It is almost like retiring the number 10 jersey because there would only be one of its kind.

This system was started in 1953. Sailors then named storms after their girlfriends, wives, mothers-in-law. "Presumably these storms shared personality traits with the namesakes," jokes Frank Lepore, spokesman for the Hurricane Center. This system stuck. Forecasters found that when storms were personified, they had an easier time telling them apart. This held until 1979 when Florida feminist Roxcy Bolton badgered the Hurricane Center until officials agreed to stop naming hurricanes exclusively after women. The female of the species hurricanus horriblus is equally destructive!!!

The next time you hear that Charlie swept her off her feet, or Sheila rocked my world, do not forget to consult this article.


Avinash said...

Q. Why are hurricanes named after women?
A. When the come they are wet and wild but when they leave they take ur car and house with them.

RTD2 said...

Q. Why should hurricanes be named after men?
A. Because the really good ones take your breath away! (along with car and house!)
OR maybe because they come when you're least prepared, do their business and go off to torment others, leaving behind destruction and confusion in their wake...
Sorry Avinash, couldn't resist!

Avinash said...

Touche for the first answer. For the second maybe women should develop a 'men satellite' like a weather satellite. Then they can get 4-5 day warning bfore a hurricane strikes and they can evacuate. (Men generally don't mind a female hurricanes striking them. In fact they enjoy them while they last.)

Anonymous said...

hurricane horriblus?! you tornado terrificallous.