Monday, October 24, 2005

The 22nd Storm

Wilma's making all the news headlines right now, but it's her successor (now downgraded to a tropical depression) that's got people really talking.

See, the Atlantic storm region cycles through a six-year list of 21 storm names per year. The list for 2005, beginning halfway down with the notorious Katrina, then goes Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillipe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince, and finishes with Wilma. Then the 2006 list begins with Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, and so on.

Since 1995, however, tropical storms in the Atlantic region have leapt from roughly 10 to as many as 19 named stos a year.

"If we have more than 21 storms," says Frank Lepore of the National Hurrican Center in Miami, "we have bigger problems than what they are going to be named." -- National Geographic, October 2005
Well, we have bigger problems, and that's official. The World Meteorological Organization said a month ago that if they ran out of names this season, they'd use the Greek alphabet.
Everyone, meet Alpha. Storms Beta, Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon are on their way.


Erebus said...

Alpha is the 22nd storm and this has set a new record. The last time there was 21 storms was 1931/32. I can't remember. And is pretty obvious another hurricane or tropical storm will start this year still since there is over 1 month to go yet til the hurricane season ends. I'm just hoping we get a miracle and it never happens.

skribe said...

Miracles don't just happen. They're made. A good start would be weaning off fossil-fuels and looking for alternative energy supplies. It won't stop there being 22 storms this year or next year or the next decade or two, but it will stop there being 50-100 storms a century from now.