Learning how Hurricanes are named can be important for people who live or work near the ocean and in coastal areas that can get hit with hurricanes. Hurricanes get their names from the Weather Service, but what exactly does the name mean? Where do names come from and why do they choose particular names? Hurricanes get their names from a few different places: historical and mythological descriptions of the forces of nature that can produce them, and from observations of the clouds and the wind currents moving across the ocean surface. While most people know the forces that cause hurricanes, very little is known about names.
Where does Hurricane Alley lead us to names of storms and how do they develop? Where do local meteorologists get names for certain storms? Why do they choose certain names and where do they come from? Let’s look at all three of these questions to learn how Hurricanes are named and why.
The names of storms have a very interesting history. Most stormy weather in the northern hemisphere is named after a Greek goddess associated with the element of wind (i.e. Aphrodite). The most famous of these goddesses is Venus, the goddess of love, but she was also known as Demeter, ress, and Artemis, depending on the region. As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives for names that describe different aspects of the storms.
The origin of Hurricane names is more of a historical fact than a recent inspiration for a modern-day tropical storm. In any case, the seven things that seem to be attached to certain names are almost certainly related to the original meaning of the word. For example, if you’re thinking of a storm called Rainy Sunday, you probably would not think of it as a name for a tropical storm, unless of course, you’re from Australia. You would probably associate the term with something like “a light shower or downpour”, “a small drizzle”, “a bit of snow”, “a heavy downpour” or “a heavy snowstorm”.
When deciding upon names for your upcoming storms, make sure you keep in mind that they will be called something else throughout the world. For instance, a slow-moving, eastern wind storm may be referred to as a ‘zzle’ instead of a ‘szzle’. The same goes for a western wind hurricane and names such as ‘Catamount’, ‘Supernova’, ‘Typhoon’, ‘Depth-of Winds’, and ‘Gust’. Because of this, American English meteorologists use words such as” domestically” or “in this part of the world” to describe a local storm. While it’s possible for you to find unique names for these intense weather events, keep in mind that international meteorologists often use very specific terms.
Not only does the location play a big role in naming storms, but the time of year also has a lot to do with it. A tropical storm named Emily is one that made its way towards the United States on a warm, rainy summer day in June. In contrast, a hurricane that makes its way towards the United States in November would most likely be called either a “tropical storm” or a “fire tornado”. Knowing what sort of conditions the approaching storm will bring can help meteorologists come up with a more accurate name. For example, if the eye of the storm was located near Lake Michigan, it would be called an “ice storm” and if it was a blizzard that struck central Alaska, it would be named” Eskimo Snow Storm”.
The actual “how” of naming storms can also be more interesting than meets the eye. If an observing meteorologist wants to draw attention to a developing storm, he or she might do so by naming it while it is still on the horizon. For example, if they believe that the eye of the storm is slowly moving toward New Orleans, they might call it the “eye of Hurricane Bianco”. The last two letters in the name servers to define the shape and the movement of the storm: B – for the period when the storm is located somewhere near the Atlantic Ocean, S – for somewhere along the Gulf Coast, and N – for somewhere along the Northeast.
In addition to these Atlantic storm names, some locations around the world have also begun to add their own names to the hurricane catalogs. There are tropical storms in Australia, British Columbia, Canada, Eastern Canada, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, New Orleans, and Texas. Western Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) have had their own category of tropical storms and their local names have been added as well. Similarly, in the United States, parts of the Northeast have begun adding local names to their National Hurricane Seasonal Catalogs. While we have only scratched the surface of how hurricanes are named, hopefully, this article has given you some new insight into the process.