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Storm name system revision proposals

General Name Talk & Names in the News 3 replies 310 views
Brief summary: names of storms are named by birth order of the year. There is a six-year rotation of different names, with retirements when a storm is particularly destructive (with a substitution of a different name with the appropriate letter on the next iteration). 
Names used for Atlantic Tropical Storms
We've now just run through this roster in record time, with three more months of the year to go. The last time there were more than 21 name-elegible storms in 2005 they overflowed into using the greek alphabet to name additional storms (getting to Zeta, the 6th letter), and that is what is being done again. I find that to be a bad choice because I suspect that it is going to be a more regular occurrence to cycle through the 21 designated names as climate chaos increases, and that system makes it harder to retire names unless they decide to go to different alphabets.
Since the NHC isn't calling me, allow me to suggest a fix. First, they shouldn't skip Q, U, X, Y and Z names in the regular rotation: there's no reason because you can definitely come up with 6+ legitimate names for each of those letters. I'd suggest:
  • Quincy, Quentin, Quetzalcoatl to give the weather people something to work on pronunciation wise, Quintessa, Quirino, Qamar.
  • Ursula, Ulysses, Umberto, Unity or Undine, Uriah, Ulrike.
  • Xiomara, Xenia, Xochitl, Ximena, Xerxes, Xanthe or Xanthippe. (Skipping Xavier because it's common right now and Laura's writing about how it's hard to be the eye of the storm makes me think the goal is to go with more  unpopular choices when they are recognizable as names)
  • Yolanda, Yael, Yorick, Yvette, Yasmin, Yancy.
  • Zelda, Zenobia or Zenaida, Zebedee, Zeno, Zoltan, Zilpha.
Adding those would buy some time. And then, once you cycle through the full 26 letters of the alphabet, next I think they should move the overflow to double letter names, mined from the SSA data:
  • Aaron or Aarne or Aaliyah or Aakash (lots of options for retirement)
  • Bb (I thought this had to be a typo for a placeholder like Baby, but it debuted with 11 babies in 1998 and continued to show up in subsequent years, and guys it turns out to be a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HOMAGE NAME and I'm not going to even apologize for the capitals for emphasis because my mind is so blown not only by this discovery but by the nature of the wrestling storyline)... and you could retire to Bibb or Bobb or Babbette
  • Cchristopher (a one-hit wonder in 1986)
  • Ddnna or Ddnald (this one is certainly a misentry of handwriting or victim of bad typewriter spacing, which Ddnald showing up in 1955 and 1959 and Ddnna showing up in that same range of years)
  • Eevee (or Eevie if that's Pokemon copyright infringement), backup Eero
  • Ffion
  • We'd have to skip H, but that's with precedent in the current naming system... unless we might consider an H-rich name like Hephzibaor one with internal double h runs (Johhny, Timothhy, Mathhew) or one which has an extra h at the end giving an aaaahhhhh kind of emphasis (Elijahh, Deborahh, Josiahh)
  • Then on to Iisha
  • Jjesus or maybe Jjuan or Jj. 
  • K is another skip (or Kikuko)
  • Ll is an embarrassment of riches not just because of the Welsh names  (Llewellyn and Lloyd) but also because Spanish names like Lluvia (the spanish word for rain and reasonably popular name) and spellings like Lluliana and Llasmin which rely on the fact that Ll in Spanish makes a Y sound and which I genuinely love so much.
  • Then there's Mmark and Mmary and Mmichael which also show up in 1957-9 just like the Dds, so I'm wondering whether someone had a stuck typewriter?) -- and Muhammadamin is impressively m-rich.
  • Nnamdi and Nneka have a very long and extensive history of use and Nneoma as well.
  • Oona
  • Ppatrica (yep, another 1950s phenomenon)
  • The Q will be a skip on the overflow names...  unless we substitute Saqqara.
  • Rreanna, Rreon or Rron
  • Sstephanie is I think NOT a typo but rather a phonetic respelling and English-updating of Estefania, and also Ssirley in 1960. (It's probably a typo of Shirley, but I'm here for pronounced-like-surly as a name for a storm if not a baby.)
  • T is a skip unless  Tritt or Trentity works.
  • Uuno (1920 so maybe suspect recordkeeping?)
  • V is a skip unless we relax the rules and add Vivvian or Velveeta
  • Wwilliam and Wwliam both show up in the 1950s
  • Xxavier
  • Zzyzx

Does anyone have other creative ideas that would allow for future higher incidence of large numbers of storms? Other alphabets? 

*My household also just experienced the excitement of having a name used on a family member being bestowed upon a storm. Happily, the storm in question  thrashed around fairly briefly and nondestructively before being downgraded to a depression.
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