Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names


Hurrricane Image

An hurricane approaching Florida I was reading the article : “Hurricane Wilma batters Florida” from the bbc website, I found out that there are 21 official names for cyclone named every year and that they use the same first letter for each one every year. This is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s initiative, which is obviously an american research center.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am not complaining about the americans. I just think it’s kind of cute of them to name all of the hurricanes and cyclones after human names. I mean, it’s an interresting concept. You should check out the website at
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml to learn more about the names. Apparently, this year was the first to use one of the Greek alphabet names (alpha) because they had 22 Tropical Cyclone in the atlantic ocean so far. Funny that you would adopt a system that allowed such a low degree of freedom in terms of the number of possible names. I mean, what happens when they go through the 28 characters of the Greek alphabet ? For the curious out there, here is a list of the Greek alphabet:

  • α (Alpha)
  • β (Beta)
  • γ (Gamma)
  • δ (Delta)
  • ε (Epsilon)
  • ϝ (Digamma)
  • ζ (Zeta)
  • η (Eta)
  • θ (Theta)
  • ι (Iota)
  • κ (Kappa)
  • λ (Lambda)
  • μ (Mu)
  • ν (Nu)
  • ξ (Xi)
  • ο (Omicron)
  • π (Pi)
  • ϻ (San)
  • ϙ (Qoppa)
  • ρ (Rho)
  • σ (Sigma)
  • τ (Tau)
  • υ (Upsilon)
  • φ (Phi)
  • χ (Chi)
  • ψ (Psi)
  • ω (Omega)
  • ϡ (Sampi)

On another note, I just realized that 15 out of 28 Greek letters appear in my masters thesis so far. Hmm, I’ll see if I can squeeze the other 13 somewhere in there. I’m sure that it can be done.

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