Ever wonder how hurricanes get their names? And why do hurricanes have names at all? Meteorologists long ago learned that naming tropical storms and hurricanes helps people remember the storms, communicate about them more effectively, and so stay safer if and when a particular storm strikes a coast. These experts assign names to hurricanes according to a formal list of names that is approved of prior to the start of each hurricane season. The U.S. National Hurricane Center started this practice in 1950. Now, the World Meteorological Organization generates and maintains the list of hurricane names. Find out more about hurricane names below.
How and why did hurricanes first begin receiving names?While people have been naming major storms for hundreds of years, most hurricanes were originally designated by a system of latitude-longitude numbers, which was useful to meteorologists trying to track these storms. Unfortunately, this system was confusing to people living on coasts seeking hurricane information.
The Great American Solar Eclipse, the first to cross the country in four decades, will provide an opportunity for the nation to observe how it can impact the weather.The Great American Solar Eclipse, the first to cross the country in four decades, will provide an opportunity for the nation to observe how it can impact the weather. From the Northwest to the Southeast, at least 75 percent of the sun will be obscured in the late morning or afternoon of Aug. 21. If the weather cooperates, everyone in the Lower 48 states will see at least a partial eclipse. To be clear, most of these weather changes will be small, perhaps imperceptible, unless you're closely watching weather instruments. Nonetheless, they will be of interest to meteorologists.
1. Large temperature shifts, for a select few
The most obvious thing will happen is a drop in temperatures. Temperatures should drop 5 to 15 degrees in the path of totality under clear skies. In the 2001 African solar eclipse, temperatures tumbled from the low 80s into the upper 60s. Temperatures will drop more in the Rockies than in the Southeast and immediate Pacific coast due to lower humidity. Higher humidity values tend to keep the temperature more steady than lower humidity values. Temperature drops will be noticeably less in areas where cloud cover hampers visibility of sun.
2. The "Eclipse Wind"
An eclipse of the sun can change the way air moves near the ground, according to a study at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. An "eclipse wind" is a change in wind direction and speed that occurs when the moon blocks out the sun. More than 4,500 citizen scientists and a number of weather stations observed conditions in the path of a partial eclipse in the United Kingdom in 2015, noting a subtle lightening of the wind. “As the sun disappears behind the moon the ground suddenly cools, just like at sunset. This means warm air stops rising from the ground, causing a drop in wind speed and a shift in its direction, as the slowing of the air by the Earth’s surface changes," according to Professor Giles Harrison at the University of Reading. Winds fell by just over 2 mph on average and changed direction by about 20 degrees according to the study. This effect lasts only minutes during the eclipse, and winds return to normal as soon as the sun begins to shine.