Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Why do hurricanes have names?

I remember a few years ago, while reading through the questions of one of my favorite board game Mindtrap, I came across the question "Why do hurricanes have names?"

I was in my comfortable couch in the Brookhaven Lab apartment with Patrick, watching CNN when the live coverage that Hurricane Katrina was about to strike New Orleans. At the time they were showing pictures from satellites with the evolution of the storm. I didn't pay much notice at the moment, since I knew it was hurricane season and that this event was common.

The next day I logged in into the greek news website I regurarly read, and when a foreign event is in the cover story, usually it's something big. Within a few minutes I was just astounded by the news that 80% of the city was underwater, people killed and houses relocated. And when I saw the picture of the Supedome half-torn apart, I just paused my life.

The phrase "A hurricane is coming" is not as powerful as "Hurricane Katrina" is coming.
hence scientists assing names to the hurricanes as soon as they form so that people take them seriously.