Posted on Apr 4, 2021 54
In the news today, you hear about tropical storms that are named after them. For example, the name "Katrina" has become particularly formidable, as it was given to the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history. Why forecasters choose such designations for such natural phenomena and how it happens, tell us interesting facts about hurricane names.
In the world practice it is customary to give a personal name to any tropical storm, the wind speed of which exceeds 60 km/hour. It is done for the forecasters not to confuse hurricanes working in one region. Both journalists and the public appreciated such an exit. Now in the news and storm warnings you can easily identify which phenomenon we are talking about.
Curiously enough, human names were not always assigned to hurricanes. In the past, tropical storms could remain nameless, given a name according to the area or according to their shape. However, this also caused confusion.
During the exploration of the Americas, Europeans often named hurricanes after Catholic saints. Thus, a cyclone could be named after St. Anne - “Santa Anna”.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, meteorologist Clement Rugg tried to call hurricanes by names. True, he used those politicians who refused to vote for credits for weather research to do so. In his own way, you could say he was getting back at them.
I picked the idea up by the U.S. military. They tried naming hurricanes after their mothers-in-law and wives. As a result, the U.S. National Weather Service distinguished tropical cyclones by this method. It made a special list. It is noteworthy that it contained only women’s names.
After trial-and-error, forecasters developed an international system of hurricane and storm names. They approved it in 1955, including English, French and Spanish names. A little later, it also included male names.
However, the Japanese decided not to stick to this method. They still call hurricanes as animals, trees and even products.
Today, the list of “named” cyclones is quite large. It includes Cindy, Emily, Harvey, Jose, Maria, Ophelia, Philip, Sean, Whitney, and many others. Some of these names sound rather gentle, which is hard to match with the destructive elements.
The strongest hurricanes in terms of damage were Katrina ($89.6 billion), Andrew (over $40 billion) and Ike ($24 billion). They recorded all of them in the United States.
Among the record-breaking hurricanes in terms of deaths was Mitch, which struck in 1998 in the Atlantic basin. It killed 22,000 people. 2.7 million people were left homeless.
It is also customary in the world to classify large hurricanes by diameter. For example, Cyclone Ike reached up to 1,000 km, and Gilbert - 946 km.