Naming The Storms & Chantal LatestJuly 9th, 2013 at 9:08 am by markmonstrola under Weather
Here is a fun article on the history of how we identify monster tropical storms. As it turns out the practice has been around for quite a while. A big thanks to our friends at Accuweather for the info. Enjoy!
Every year before the start of hurricane season, a list of names is released to the public, which will be used to identify future storms. Ever wonder how the names on the list are selected? Hurricanes get their name from the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Hurricanes that are named in the Atlantic Basin have six different lists that are recycled every seventh year.
When a storm causes significant damage or is costly, the name of that storm is retired and the WMO picks a new name to add to that year’s list. Hurricane Irene, Katrina and Sandy have each been retired in recent years.
Names are chosen by the committee to reflect the culture and different dynamics in the basin that the storm could impact, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski. For example, Atlantic Basin names consist of some English names and Spanish names.
Storms are named when they reach tropical storm status and have winds above 39 miles per hour. There are 21 names in the list. The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are not used because there are not many names with those letters.
In the case that the alphabet is used the entire way through in one season, letters from the Greek alphabet are then used to create names. A recent example of this was in 2005 when the Greek names, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon and Zeta were used, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
History of Naming Storms
Hurricanes have been named for hundreds of years. In the West Indies, storms were named after the Saint’s Day on which the hurricane made landfall, according to the NOAA.
During the late 1800s, a meteorologist from Australia started using women’s names to identify tropical storms.
In the 1941 novel “Storm,” by George R. Stewart, a storm was named after a woman, which helped make female names popular during WWII. Naming storms helped the Army and Navy be able to more accurately track storms that they plotted over the Pacific Ocean.
In 1953, the United States started using women’s names to identify tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin. By 1978, male and female names were used in the Eastern North Pacific list. It was not until 1979 until both gender names were used to name Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico storms.
According to NOAA, the use of names is simpler to remember than latitude and longitude coordinates, which was one their original method of identifying storms.
Story by AccuWeather.com Staff Writer Molly Cochran
2013 Atlantic storm name list:
Latest On Tropical Storm Chantal
WATCHES AND WARNINGS ------------------- THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS AND THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * BARBADOS * DOMINICA * ST. LUCIA * MARTINIQUE * GUADELOUPE * PUERTO RICO * SOUTHERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM CABO ENGANO TO THE BORDER WITH HAITI A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * ST. VINCENT * U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS * VIEQUES AND CULEBRA * NORTHERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC * HAITI * TURKS AND CAICOS * SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ RADARS FROM BARBADOS AND MARTINIQUE INDICATE THAT AT 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM CHANTAL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 13.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 59.7 WEST. CHANTAL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 26 MPH...43 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF CHANTAL WILL MOVE THROUGH THE LESSER ANTILLES THIS MORNING...MOVE INTO THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING...AND BE NEAR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ON WEDNESDAY. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE IS CURRENTLY APPROACHING CHANTAL. TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 90 MILES...150 KM ...MAINLY TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1010 MB...29.83 INCHES.