Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Retired Hurricane Names: Revised and Revived

     In recent days I have become curious about the history and protocol for naming hurricanes. A bit of very quick research resulted in a few facts that I found to be of some interest. The contemporary system of using ‘given names’ for hurricanes (and other significant tropical storms) began in 1953 and was overseen by a group called the World Meteorological Organization. Initially, they used only women’s names for the list but this was expanded to include men’s names as well in 1978. Since that year the list of names alternates between the female and male as in the list for 2009: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, etc. There are six standard, annual lists that are used and then the cycle begins anew every seventh year. The exceptions to this standard cycle – and there have been many – are related to storms that were so powerful and/or devastating that the names have been retired from further use. Examples of these mammoth storms include Agnes (1972,) Andrew (1992,) Camille (1969) and Katrina (2005.)
     As you may suspect, because there are 26 letters in the alphabet and seldom, if ever, has there been a year when 26 storms rose to the occasion of hurricane, there are very few retired names that begin with letters beyond L. On the other hand, it seems that there may be a need to refresh the list of names for those letters A-L. In pondering this need I have compiled a list of alternate hurricane names that I will send to the WMO for consideration. You are most welcome to send any additional thoughts you may have to thomschuyler@gmail.com. 

Lili, Lu is Lenny

Thank you.


Blogger tallu said...


August 26, 2008 at 9:08 PM  

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