What’s in a Name? How We Identify Storms and Hurricanes.
The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season spans from May 22, 2021 through November 30, 2021. Between those two dates, we will witness tropical depressions and storms of all sizes, some culminating in hurricanes which may or may not prove costly with respect to lost lives and damaged infrastructure.
As hurricane season rolls out, we can’t help but take notice of the names assigned to each hurricane, regardless of whether or not it actually makes landfall or leaves much of a mark on those in its path.
While we’ve watched these storms develop, many of which result in significant storm damage, we couldn’t help but wonder, how are storms and hurricanes named in the first place?
Monikers from the Military
The story of how and where tropical storms and hurricanes get their names starts with the American military.
According to senior Accuweather meteorologist, Dan Kottlowski, “During World War II, it became highly noticed that [the United States] was losing ships in the west Pacific because of hurricanes. So, coming out of the war, a large amount of research took place to understand these storms and make people more aware of them. As a part of that project, [the military] started naming them.”
Names are reserved for certain storms; a system requires sustained winds of at least 39 MPH -- anything below that is a nameless tropical depression. Anything above 73 MPH is considered a hurricane and, therefore, named.
If a hurricane proves particularly damaging, its name is retired and never used again. In other words, we’ve seen the last Hurricane Katrina in our lifetimes and it’s fair to anticipate that Ida will be retired as well.
In honor of September designated as National Preparedness Month, we urge everyone to embrace this year’s Ready.gov theme: “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” As soon as a hurricane is named, that’s your cue that it’s time to plan and prepare!
Whatever the name of your storm, contact your local SERVPRO of Danvers / Ipswich team for expert storm damage cleanup and restoration designed to return your home or business back to its best condition.