Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Names

Today, Tropical Storm Isaac was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane. Since Jay is currently studying Meteorology in Science, we thought this was a good opportunity to learn how they name tropical storms/hurricanes.
There are 6 lists of names that they rotate through. So, the list for this year will be used again in 2018. When a storm causes so much destruction & death that it would be insensitive to survivors to reuse the name, the name is retired. We found out how many names have been retired since my birth year, hubby's birth year, Jay's birth year, and Dea's birth year.

We looked over the names lists and the retired names, to see how many people we know whose names were on the lists. None of our names are on there, but we have several family members with names on the lists. We also discussed which storms he remembers. There weren't many that he personally remembers, since he's so young. Though, there were several that he has read about, and he pointed those out to me.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml#atl
http://geology.com/hurricanes/hurricane-names.shtml

Jay had fun reading about how tropical storms & hurricanes are named. He also had fun reading through the name lists. Plus, he learned quite a bit, having never looked into the naming of storms prior to today.  I learned a little, too. I knew they alternate male & female names, and that they retire names of particularly horrible storms. However, I didn't know about the 6 rotating lists. I also didn't know that the practice of using both male & female names didn't start until 1978, when they stopped using only female names. Jay and I had a discussion about why the practice of using only female names was sexist.

It was an interesting, impromptu Science lesson that fits perfectly into his current Science topic.