Katrina, Harvey, Sandy, Irma, Andrew…
The most devastating hurricanes of all will remain alive in people’s minds forever. However, few people think about why natural phenomena have the name of an ordinary person.
The reason is simple: the name is easy to remember and is thus effective in warning communication.
Every year, the hurricane season begins in early June and lasts until the end of November. The names of both sexes are introduced alternately. For example, the first two hurricanes this year were called Arthur and Bertha.
The names of small hurricanes are re-used every six years, but Katrina and other storms that caused major damage, for example, have been permanently decommissioned.
The UN World Meteorological Organization, WMO, is responsible for the designation. This year, its meteorologists are facing a special problem: the hurricane season has been so intense that there is only the last of the available name repositories, Wilfred.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Pauletta is beating Bermuda, tropical low pressure Rene has subsided, but Teddy (tropical storm) is expected to accelerate into hurricane class as early as Tuesday. Sally of the same category has already caused flooding off the coast of the United States.
The last time there were so many tropical cyclones in the Atlantic was in September 1971.
– The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been so active that we expect the regular list of names to end soon. If that happens, we will only have to resort to the Greek alphabet for the second time in history, WMO representative clearly none said the news agency AFP.
The last and only time the same had to be resorted to was in 2005, when it was Katrina who broke New Orleans into disaster. At that time, the first six of the Greek names were used: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta.
The original hurricane alphabet has 21 letters because the letters Q, U, X, and Z do not find names easily recognizable to speakers in English, Spanish, French, or Dutch.