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View Full Version : What Point Is To Give A Name To The Hurricane?



Robert J. Niewiadomski
29th October 2012, 22:32
Just as thread title asks. Can you enlighten me why give human name to something so disastrous? Do people named like the hurricane are feeling guilty? Do others treat them with disrespect? Do the current name for a hurricane has to do anything with the most popular name of the month or the quarter or the year?

Do hurricanes have to be anthropomorphised? Can't they be named other way? What a point is to say "Kathrina has devastated New Orleans". Will she be served capital punishment for this terrible deed? Or Sandy... Does she really hates NYC so she decided to destroy it too? Will there be links uncovered connecting Sandy with Iran?

How about naming hurricanes after countries or foreign cities? Great newspapers topics! And what a thrill!

Poland has devastated Washington D.C.!
or

Tel Aviv has wiped out Miami!
:(

TargeT
29th October 2012, 22:35
Just an easier way for (probably male) forcasters to keep track of storms, especialy if there are multiple storms.


Tropical storms and hurricanes are given names to avoid confusion when more than one storm is being followed at the same time. A storm is named when it reaches tropical storm strength with winds of 39 mph. A storm becomes a hurricane when its wind speed reaches 75 mph.

Separate sets of hurricane names are used in the central Pacific, eastern Pacific, and the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The World Meteorological Organization's Region 4 Hurricane Committee selects the names for Atlantic Basin storms. The names are English, Spanish and French - the languages spoken in the national Atlantic Basin storms hit. They alternate between male and female names. The group has selected six sets of names, which means each set of names is used again each six years.

Forecasters begin using names in 1950. In that year and in 1951, names were from the international phonetic alphabet in use at the time - Able, Baker, Charlie, etc. Female, English-language names were used beginning in 1953.

Alternating male and female names were first used to name Atlantic Basin hurricanes in 1979. This was also the first year that French and Spanish names, as well as English, were used. The first three male names used, Bob, David and Frederick have all been retired because they did tremendous damage. Frederick and David were retired because of the damage they did in 1979. Bob was retired after a hurricane by that name hit New England in 1991.

The first storm each year in the Atlantic Basin and in the eastern Pacific gets an 'A' name. But the year's first hurricane in the central Pacific from 140 degrees west longitude to the International Date Line and the first typhoon west of the Date Line get the next available name on the list, no matter what letter it begins with..


http://www.gohsep.la.gov/factsheets/WhyHurricanesAreNamed.htm

Robert J. Niewiadomski
29th October 2012, 22:51
TargeT, i understand the need to track and distinguish. Do not question it. My doubt is over specific way of distinguishing storms and hurricanes.
Why HUMAN name?!

Why not "random" leters and digits? K13 or S13 or something like that.

ghostrider
29th October 2012, 23:04
How about calling it the X- Wife = furious anger decends upon all and strikes fear and leaves a path of total devistation, draining all money to clean up the aftermath, and you hope the next one isn't anything like the one you just survived . lost everthing barely made it out with my life . still having PTSD . lol

TargeT
29th October 2012, 23:10
TargeT, i understand the need to track and distinguish. Do not question it. My doubt is over specific way of distinguishing storms and hurricanes.
Why HUMAN name?!

Why not "random" leters and digits? K13 or S13 or something like that.

random letters and digits just don't stick in the human mind, I'm sure its a tradition born of lazy minds; we give comets random numbers and letters and yet still refer to them as "hale-bop" etc..

of course if you really wanted to dig into it maybe it has something to do with continuing the suppression of the feminine; possibly due to anger over the last time the female energies ruled over the masculine... but that feels like a bit of a stretch.

RMorgan
29th October 2012, 23:29
Hey mate,

Check this out:

"Hurricane names are determined by the World Meteorological Organization headquartered in Geneva. The WMO is in charge of updating the six weather regions of the world (the United States is in region four, which consists of North America, Central America and the Caribbean).

For Atlantic tropical storms, the National Hurricane Center created six lists of hurricane names that are maintained and updated by the WMO through an international voting committee. The lists contain French, Spanish, Dutch and English names because "hurricanes affect other nations and are tracked by the public and weather services of many countries," according to NOAA.

The six lists are kept in constant rotation. For example, the 2010 name list will be used again in 2016.

While names of hurricanes previously included names from A to Z (for example, hurricane names from 1958 included Udele, Virgy, Wilna, Xrae, Yurith and Zorna), current lists exclude Q, U, X, Y and Z because there are not enough names starting with these letters to include them, Feltgen said.

The lists do change, however. If a storm is especially devastating, such as 2005's Katrina, a vote is taken by the WMO to determine whether it would be inappropriate to use the name again. If a name is taken off the list, another name that shares its first letter is selected and voted to replace it, Feltgen said.

The names on the six lists can be pretty unique. For example, names planned for 2010 hurricanes include Gaston, Otto, Shary and Virginie.

A storm earns its hurricane handle once it has been identified to have a counterclockwise circulation and wind speeds of 39 mph (63 kph) or greater. It is then assigned the next name alphabetically in line from the year's current name list by the Tropical Prediction Center in Miami."

More: http://www.livescience.com/8579-hurricanes-named.html

Cheers,

Raf.

Robert J. Niewiadomski
29th October 2012, 23:39
Raf, it only explains the naming procedure. But WHY the name lists consist of HUMAN names?

Robert J. Niewiadomski
29th October 2012, 23:51
Have found this "explanation" (source: http://www.behindthename.com/namesakes/category/hurricane)

Since 1953 severe North Atlantic storms have been assigned human names by the National Hurricane Center. According to the NHC, this is done because "the use of short, distinctive names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older, more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods."
From 1953 to 1978 storms were given feminine names, in alphabetic order starting with the letter A each new year (the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used). In 1979 an alternating masculine-feminine alphabetic naming scheme was introduced. Also in this year a set of six lists were standardized, to be used in rotation every six years. However, the name of a particularly destructive hurricane could be retired and replaced with a new name.

The lists below only include human names given to North Atlantic storms. This excludes anything except tropical storms (winds between 62 and 117 km/h) and hurricanes (winds above 117 km/h), since lesser storms are not named. Also excluded are storms named for Greek letters, which occurs when the alphabet has been exhausted in a particular year. This happened for the first time in 2005.

It should be noted that storms in other regions are also given names (for example, storms in the North Pacific have Hawaiian names), but these are not included in the lists below.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Chronologically (http://www.behindthename.com/namesakes/list/hurricane/chrono)

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms by Frequency of Name (http://www.behindthename.com/namesakes/list/hurricane/frequency)

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Alphabetically (Grouped by Name) (http://www.behindthename.com/namesakes/list/hurricane/name)



(...)this is done because "the use of short, distinctive names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older, more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods."

This is not enough for me. There are many short, distinctive words beside human names... How about plant & animal names?

In place of female names - plants: Lemon, Orange, Apple, Acorn etc...
In place of male names - animals: Hornet, Wasp, Bear, Swan etc...
Why not this?

Maybe it is a S.I.P.S (Secret In Plain Sight)? Are we being told in this way that hurricanes are man made?

sunnyrap
30th October 2012, 00:08
They all appear to be English-speaking type names as well. Haven't seen a Hurricane Ygnacio or Svetlana or Zhang...etc Or do other countries have similar naming conventions for storms in their area? Maybe it should be viewed as an opportunity to express great frustration through your namesake storm with all that one holds as...frustrating in the world once and for all.

mosquito
30th October 2012, 01:29
Why human names ?

Because humans are the only things which actually have names as such ! Different trees within a species don't have names; animals don't unless they are pets.

I think it's actually quite funny, a storm with a gentle sounding name like "Sandy" is now causing so much trouble ! What next - tropical cyclone Kitty, typhoon Rupert ? Hurricane Gaylord ?

Paul
30th October 2012, 01:41
Just as thread title asks. Can you enlighten me why give human name to something so disastrous?
Why do you ask ?

I'm serious ... the intention of this thread is not evident to me. It feels to me like there is implicit in the question a suspicion that that there is a "dark" reason for naming hurricanes this way (and there may well be!), but there seems to be no path anticipated to understanding that dark reason. Fledgling, well intentioned, efforts to answer the question ostensibly asked here are being dismissed quickly.

Asking why something is dark (if that is what this thread is doing) without any sense of a path that leads to understanding tends to just stir our own darker instincts, to no good purpose.

Is that why you ask ... is that your intention with this thread? I am rather hoping not.

Lettherebelight
30th October 2012, 02:09
A storm is a unique living entity. Like any other living entity, it is born, grows, maintains for some time, then dwindles and then dies. It is an individual with unique characteristics; no two storms are exactly alike. Hurricanes interact with others that it comes across during its 'life', impacting those around it.

It does seem that a storm has a personality, of sorts...

So why not give it a name? It is easier to remember than a number...

The name Sandy is not so benign. It is short for Alexandra, the feminine form of Alexander...which means 'warrior'.

gripreaper
30th October 2012, 02:24
http://i850.photobucket.com/albums/ab68/spiritofthebruce/interestingnot.gif

angelahedgehog
30th October 2012, 08:28
They should pick a piece of literature for the year as a theme and use the character names. So if this year was the hitch hiker's guide to the galaxy year there could have been hurricane Zarniwhoop, Slartibartfast, Zaphod Beeblebrox etc... :)

Robert J. Niewiadomski
30th October 2012, 09:14
Why do you ask ?

Because i want to know what is beneath the pretty shiny surface. If below is as shiny as above that is great! But i don't mind exposing it being other way round.



I'm serious ... the intention of this thread is not evident to me. It feels to me like there is implicit in the question a suspicion that that there is a "dark" reason for naming hurricanes this way (and there may well be!), but there seems to be no path anticipated to understanding that dark reason.

I can't answer honestly if my first impulse behind creating this thread was suspicion of deliberate (dark) intent of naming hurricanes like humans. But after some posts and now when you asked that question i start to wonder if it is something dark behind it.

Some times when you ask a question you don't have clear view or path you want to follow to find an answer. It is like blindly grabbing loose end of one of many tangled wires and following it until you find another end. Or you find that wire splits somewhere into many more threads and you have to follow more than one thread, Some may turn out to be dead ends yielding nothing special. You can't suggest that every thread should begin with full layout of the path every poster should follow. Or can you? ;)



Fledgling, well intentioned, efforts to answer the question ostensibly asked here are being dismissed quickly.

I dismissed the answer (by RMorgan) to the question: What is procedure of giving the huricane a name. I have asked why HUMAN NAME? Later i tried to make it more precise - Why not use other easy to remeber words?
I can agree that using human names stems from laziness. But should we really stop at it? I will elaborate on this theme of me not being satisfied with some "Fledgling, well intentioned, efforts to answer" at the end of this post...

Can you tell me why sunspots are not named after humans but are given leters-numbers names? (Ex. latest "active regions" names AR1599 or AR1600).



Asking why something is dark (if that is what this thread is doing) without any sense of a path that leads to understanding tends to just stir our own darker instincts, to no good purpose.

Is that why you ask ... is that your intention with this thread? I am rather hoping not.
Nope Paul this was not my intention to "stir our own darker instincts". BTW i can not stir anybody's dark instincts if he/she does not allow it. If it gets exposed and it turns out so it can be acknowledged and healed then.

To give a glimpse of me not being satisfied withe answers, let me demonstrate that something is not right here. Here is n excerpt from NOAA page. A FAQ answer to the somebody's question (can you believe that?!)


Can I have a tropical cyclone named for me?
We do not control the naming of tropical storms. Instead, a list of names has been established by an international committee of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization. For Atlantic hurricanes, there is actually one list for each of six years. In other words, one list is repeated every seventh year. The only time that there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the committee (called primarily to discuss many other issues) the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it. See here for more information: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/Storm-naming.html.

Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/faq.shtml#name

Let's look at this. First, somebody would like the hurricane to bear his/her name! What an ego... Second is more interesting.
There are six (not so) fixed lists of names (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml). One list for every year in six year cycle for Atlantic (Sandy is here) storms and another set for Eastern North Pacific storms (Paul is here). No Robert.


The only time that there is a change is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for obvious reasons of sensitivity
So there is some concern for sensitivity issue! But why then use human names in the first place? If for obvious reasons hurricane name may be depressing for somebody...

Thank you Paul for noticing that shade of darkness. I guess i was not fully aware of it... :(

Maybe this whole thread is irrelevant. I wish somebody named Katrina or Sandy could share her feelings here about deadly element being nicknamed likewise...

Fred Steeves
30th October 2012, 09:54
I wish somebody named Katrina or Sandy could share her feelings here about deadly element being nicknamed likewise...

Hi Robert, I can't speak for Katrinas or Sandys, but my name was retired back in 1979, when it hit the southeast U.S. with 135 m.p.h.(215 k.p.m.) winds. It's never bothered me, although I've never really given it much thought either. It caused an estimated 6-9 billion U.S. dollars as of 2008 value.

Here's a satellite shot of it just before landfall. Beautiful storm meteorologically speaking, huh?


19008

Robert J. Niewiadomski
30th October 2012, 10:25
I wish somebody named Katrina or Sandy could share her feelings here about deadly element being nicknamed likewise...

Hi Robert, I can't speak for Katrinas or Sandys, but my name was retired back in 1979, when it hit the southeast U.S. with 135 m.p.h.(215 k.p.m.) winds. It's never bothered me, although I've never really given it much thought either. It caused an estimated 6-9 billion U.S. dollars as of 2008 value.

Here's a satellite shot of it just before landfall. Beautiful storm meteorologically speaking, huh?


19008
Fred, you were 13 years old when hurricane Fred hit. Did your peers treated you any different afterwards?

Fred Steeves
30th October 2012, 10:42
Fred, you were 13 years old when hurricane Fred hit. Did your peers treated you any different afterwards?

I don't recall anything in particular Robert, good or bad. Generally speaking though, people get a lot of ribbing during, and shortly after the event of their name. But long term bias or stigmas of any sort? Not saying there isn't, but I've never noticed any.

araucaria
30th October 2012, 11:33
Maybe this whole thread is irrelevant. I wish somebody named Katrina or Sandy could share her feelings here about deadly element being nicknamed likewise...

There is someone on the Here & Now thread has a dog called Sandy who was a little upset...

(Rocky_Shorz, post #21955)

Ilie Pandia
30th October 2012, 16:06
Well, If we start getting upset about this how about Noam's observation (http://www.chomsky.info/articles/201105--.htm) about naming weapons after their victims. See Apache, Blackhawk, Tomahawk :) (and all kinds of strange military operation names). How would some feel if the non-us "death gliders" would be called the "The New-Yorker". Not so cool, eh?

It may be that names are not that random and the decision to put a name to a storm may affect how we think about ourselves. But once you become aware of that, and realize that names are just labels, then you really shouldn't get too attached to it.

I guess I can relax because "Ilie" will never be used like that, but Elijah might :)

araucaria
30th October 2012, 16:33
The next storm is to be called Tony. I vote we rename it pie'n'eal :)