How to Name a Hurricane

As we all know, choosing a name for your national weather disaster is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. There are so many choices and so many factors to take into consideration, it can be overwhelming!

You want it to be distinctive, yet approachable. Easy to remember, but not generic. After all, when people look back on your hurricane in a few years, the last thing you want is for it to be confused with just another Category One tropical storm.

Take Sandy, for instance. Sandy is a simple, yet strong name. She caused a helluva lot of damage and people remember her for it. You don’t meet a ton of Sandys these days, but it’s not the kind of name you read in a headline and say, “Sand-what?” It’s Sandy, not short for Sandra. Just Sandy, plain and simple.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when you’re naming your hurricane:

  1. Don’t be too clever. This is a storm, not a poetry contest. For this reason, I’d stay away from names like Isaias, for example.
  2. Make it pronounceable. Hurricanes spend a lot of time in the news—and occasionally in history books—so you want to make sure their legacy won’t be mangled. How would you feel if your name was mispronounced by half the people who attempted saying it? For this reason, I’d stay away from names like Isaias.
  3. Remember: This isn’t about you. Maybe you were one of five Jennifers or Davids in your class, and maybe you hated that. But your hurricane has a long destructive road ahead of it—do you really want to saddle it with additional baggage? No, of course you don’t. For this reason, I’d recommend staying away from names like Isaias or Isaias. It’ll be tempting to go with Isaias, but trust me, it’ll ruin its life and he/she/they will resent you forever for it. ❏

Photo by Kelly Bozarth

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2 Responses

  1. Right on Elisa! Whatever you do, don’t name your hurricane Isaias. And I understand (I think this is right) that that name will be repeated each 7 hurricane seasons until who knows when! Ugh!

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