Friday, August 24, 2012

...Isaac, Joyce, Kirk...

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a mapping application that shows the tracks for historical hurricanes along with their name, classification, wind speed and pressure overtime.  Click here to check it out!

Naming tropical storms has been found to be a clear, simple way of communicating important warning messages about the storms rather than using complex technical language.  For example, yesterday had this headline," Hurricane Isaac Threatens To Swamp Republican Convention ".  But where do those names come from?

For storms occurring in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and North Atlantic, the World Meteorological Organization  uses 6 lists of names in alphabetical order (excluding letters Q, U, X, Y, Z), alternating male and female names, that are used in a 6-year rotation. 

Here are the names for the 2012 storms:
Alberto   Gordon   Michael   Tony
Beryl       Helene   Nadine     Valerie
Chris       Isaac      Oscar        William 
Debby     Joyce     Patty
Ernesto    Kirk      Rafael
Florence  Leslie    Sandy

There are different name lists for storms occurring in other geographic locations (to see the complete list of names follow this link).  If a named storm is especially devastating, either because of the amount of monetary damage or loss of life, that name is retired from the list for sensitivity reasons and replaced with a new name.
Have a great Friday!

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