If the name list for this year’s winter storms strikes you as a little odd, you’re not alone, but we’re happy this strange list inspired James Plafke over at Geekosystem to dig up a whole bunch of fun facts about storm names to satisfy our lust for trivial pleasures.
And, no, “Gandolf” wasn’t misspelled.
Why Do We Name Storms?
The National Hurricane Center employs logic, and notes that short names that are easy to remember help avoid confusion much more than using latitude-longitude identification methods. It also helps spread awareness and is much easier to track if your hurricane is named Igor, rather than a string of numbers.
The First Storm Names
Some of the first recorded hurricanes with names were named after the saint’s day on which the storm occurred. Author and forecaster Ivan R. Tannehill noted that before the end of the 19th century, an Australian meteorologist began giving hurricanes female names, and the practice eventually took hold amongst the Army and Navy during World War II. Eventually, in 1978, hurricanes began being named after both men and women, rather than simply sticking to the female-only naming convention.
Who Names Hurricanes?
Oddly, not the National Hurricane Center, but the World Meteorological Organization.
Full story at Geekosystem.
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