As America shivers and waits anxiously by TV sets, computers, and radios for the latest information about the latest winter storms, people are forced to remember the name of each storm in case something gets screwed up. I’m not sure what group of meteorologists met in a shadowy conference room to determine that weather events needed a name, but it apparently looks like a done deal.
In my stroll through history, hurricanes were given the dubious honor of being christened with memorable monikers such as Camille, Andrew, and Katrina- respectfully. These singular events were often few and far between-allowing us to measure the historical significance of each storm in terms of severity, damage, and costs to both property and human experience.
However, the winter storms that have plagued the United States since early November have been made all the more confusing because of multiple names for each storm. At this writing, we are experiencing winter storm Titan. Now don’t get me wrong-naming a storm isn’t a bad idea. What makes this an annoyance is the fact that a new storm can occur within a few days. This week may be Titan-next week could be something equally ridiculous such as Intrepid.
I suppose that it’s all in the name. The rule of thumb for naming hurricanes once was limited to female names until the late seventies when feminists demanded that male names be included to make things more equal. After all, who wants their particular sex to be held responsible for the damage of anyone’s coastline if in name only?
If we’re to name every storm that comes along, why not have fun with it? How about a blog vote for folks to choose a really cool name like Broderick, Selena, Ringo, or Anastasia? Personally, I lean towards cartoon names such as Bugs, Mickey, Huckleberry, and Woody. Can you imagine a T-shirt with “I survived Woody?” Also, if we’re going to go there, why not anime character names like Goku, Sailor Moon, Gundam, or Naruto? Because the information guru’s at the National Weather Service would be quick to say “That’s ridiculous.” I’m thinking we’ve skated past that already.
I’m sure that everyone could weigh in with a favorite name-perhaps a particularly endearing name of a favorite relative, ally, or pet. It would even be acceptable to hang a title representing an enemy or tormenting thought such as circumcision, enhancement, or chap-ass. But choose wisely my friends-history will document the brilliance or utter stupidity of our choices. I recommend one name per storm season per year. Using the “Keep it simple, stupid”-(aka, KISS) method may be smarter than we think.