Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

I have always been curious about the names chosen for Hurricanes.
And since the hurricane that stormed through southern states, especially Louisiana and Mississippi was named Katrina (A supermodel and popular actress in India is also called Katrina), I did a bit of investigation.

A name for a Hurricane?
The weather forecasters, pilots and ship navigators need to communicate quickly and accurately about the storms.Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods.
Hence, the names.Also, short, distinctive names are easy to say and understand.

What kind of names are used?
Having women's names for storms became popular in the United States during World War II.Until the 1979 hurricane season, only women's names were used for tropical storms in the Atlantic. Since then, the lists have included both men's and women's names.

Who names a hurricane?
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center and now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

So, new names are given every time a hurricane strikes?
No,there are a set (list) of names for storms. One list is used each year and the names are given out in the order the storms occur. After the sixth year, the first list is used again.Thus, the 2004 list will be used again in 2010.

What is "retiring" the name of a Hurricane mean?
Whenever a hurricane has had a major impact, the name of the hurricane can be “retired” by agreement of the WMO. Retiring a name actually means that it cannot be reused for at least 10 years, to facilitate historic references, legal actions, insurance claim activities, etc. and avoid public confusion with another storm of the same name. Therefore,when a name is retired or dropped from the list,another name is added in its place.

What would be the name of the storm after Katrina?
Eleven names have already been used this year. Here are the upcoming Atlantic tropical storm names for 2005 after Katrina: Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma.
You can see names for more years at the Web site,

What is the fate of the name 'Katrina'?
The widespread destruction and deaths caused by Hurricane Katrina are likely to lead to retirement of that name from the list of storm names.The final decision is up to a committee of the World Meteorological Organization.

So, is there any relation between the hurricane and the popular Indian actress?
Itz just a coincidence that both share the same name.

How can I help the Katrina Victims?
The hurricane Katrina has caused widespread destruction and deaths.
Red Cross begins soliciting donations for hurricane relief efforts

If you would like to help the victims affected by Katrina, the number one thing would be to donate money.
To donate to relief efforts, see:


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