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September 14, 2004

Are you a hurricane?

Well, are you?

Sure, there have been popularly named hurricanes recently (and it should have been "Bonnie and Clyde" not "Bonnie and Charlie"... *grr*), but have you been or will you be a hurricane in the future?

It is officially hurricane season (June 1st through November 30th). But they said that September is usually the most active month. They weren't kidding!
Hola, Francis and Ivan the terrible.

Until the late 1940s, hurricanes weren't named at all. They were known by longitude and latitude coordinates--which is a lengthy and unreliable description--labeled by the area in which they inflicted the most damage (i.e. Galveston Hurricane of 1900), or given the date that they hit as a title (i.e. Labor Day Hurricane of 1935). *yawn* Boring.

But during World War II, meteorologists from the United States working in the Pacific had to track multiple storms at the same time, so they named them. The first officially named US hurricane is George of 1947. The next one named was Hurricane Bess, which was after Bess Truman the First Lady at the time of the storm (1949). Storms were named rather haphazardly until the use of women's names began in 1953. The names used that year were: Alice, Barbara, Carol, Dolly, Edna, Florence, Gilda, Hazel, Irene, Jill, Katherine, Lucy, Mabel, Norma, Orpha, Patsy, Queen, Rachel, Susie, Tina, Una, Vicky, and Wallis.

(Who names their little girl "Wallis"...?)

The use of only women's names continued through 1979 when men's names were introduced to the tradition. Since 1979, the names have been alternated between the genders. The letters "Q," "U," "X," "Y," and "Z" are not used.

So are YOU a hurricane?? Go find out.

(Side note: There are retired names, too (reminds me of when collecting TY Beanie Babies was popular...).)Typically, names are retired because a storm was particularly destructive. Retired names are as follows:

Retired Name Allison Floyd Georges Iris Keith Lenny Michelle
Replacement Name Andrea Franklin Gaston Ingrid Kirk Lee Melissa


P.S. I'm not a hurricane... nor does it look like I will be in the near future ; )

Posted by KarissaKilgore at September 14, 2004 12:55 PM


Karissa, don't feel bad. My name isn't in there for a while either.

I'm not a fan of the alternating male/female in odd/even years either.

I wonder what happens if there were ever more than 21 in a year. Would they start back at A? Who names these things anyway? I want that job. I wonder if any job positions are available "Brian the Hurricane Namer." Has a ring to it doesn't it?

Posted by: Brian at September 14, 2004 5:29 PM

Oh, I'm a hurricane, baby, but not one of those pesky weather systems...

Posted by: moira at September 14, 2004 6:20 PM

Wallis was a famous female name during the pre-war years. King George of England abdicated his throne so he could marry a wealthy American commoner named Wallis Simpson. It didn't work out well, as I recall.

Posted by: Paige at September 15, 2004 12:49 PM

Well, I'm glad that I'm not a hurricane :) Though, I wouldn't mind having to name them all... I think I'd pick better names than "Ingrid." *eesh* (No offense to anyone named Ingrid... LOL)

Posted by: Karissa at September 15, 2004 8:05 PM

Well would you look at that. In Western Austrailan region I am considered a hurricane, but we knew that already didn't we?

Posted by: Tiffany at September 16, 2004 11:12 PM

I'll be a hurricane in 2006. So will my mom (Sandy) and my boyfriend (Chris). That's kind of crazy. Hope they are not bad ones...

This was a really interesting post. :-)

Posted by: Valerie Masicarelli at September 17, 2004 2:30 PM

Hey, thanks, Valerie :) I like to get something informational in once in awhile since I'm not in classes at the moment. This just-so-happened to be a hot topic (and an interesting one at that!).

Posted by: Karissa at September 17, 2004 6:22 PM

By the way, I guess that I'll just make note of the fact that I used HTML to create the table that is so lovely in this entry. It wasn't easy (since I just learned this part), but I'm glad I put it horizontally because it's much more space-efficient :)

Posted by: Karissa at September 19, 2004 2:59 PM

Please read this article I found published by the Chicago Tribune:

Look for "True or False: Blogs Tell it Straight"

Posted by: Evan at September 19, 2004 8:00 PM

I would love for a hurricane to be named after me Octavia is a great and strong name remember Octavian the Great

Posted by: Octavia at August 29, 2005 1:18 AM

im not a hurricane!! this made me very upset!!

Posted by: sara at October 27, 2005 12:52 PM

i am not a hurricane!! this is extremely upsetting! :(

Posted by: Penelope at October 27, 2005 12:54 PM

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