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2005 Hurricane Season
October 20, 2005 10:20 AM   Subscribe

From Arlene to Wilma. Very cool little NASA visualization of the 21 named storms from the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium (30 comments total)

 
Yeah, I saw these on CNN this morning, and was hoping they'd show up here. Very cool. Thanks for the link.
posted by grateful at 10:25 AM on October 20, 2005


Did not check CNN. Don't read CNN. Matt can take it down.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:29 AM on October 20, 2005


Betty and Wilma should be used in the same year.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:31 AM on October 20, 2005


super fantastic-- thanks!
posted by tarantula at 10:38 AM on October 20, 2005


I never understood the whole "issue" behind the running out of names thing.

Hurricanes are no laughing matter. I'm hoping Wilma blows herself out before landfall in Florida.
posted by fenriq at 10:40 AM on October 20, 2005


I never understood the whole "issue" behind the running out of names thing.

Huh? What's there not to understand? We have 21 names on the list, and Wilma's the last one. Thus, we've run out of names and have to revert to Greek letters, like frickin cavemen for chrissakes! It's pretty straightforward.
posted by Plutor at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2005


Super awesomely rad.

And why on earth should it be taken down? Just because it was on CNN? Let's not throw out the baby with the newfilterwater. In my mind, Bad Newsfilter is stuff I've heard on the radio, every RSS feed, and turned into "___ has a Posse" stickers" by the time it gets here. Not just something that CNN picked up too because it's so cool. Great post, thanks!
posted by freebird at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2005


VERY nifty!
My personal favorite is Ophelia-I just love how she wanders around for a while, can't make up her mind, gets lost...
posted by Sharktattoo at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2005


Plutor, thanks, makes perfect sense to me now. I forgot that there are only 21 names that can be used for hurricanes or God himself will come down from Heaven and smite each and every one of us. Those divine laws are easy to forget!

I still want to be able to suggest names for hurricanes. Like Hurricane Banhammer and Hurricane Bunny with Pancakes on Her Head.
posted by fenriq at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2005


Well, there is a plan to make the Weather Service more profitable by auctioning these names. As new storms form, a web page will allow bids, so that as people watch the next horrific storm ravaging the coastline, the news will be filled with reports about "Tropical Storm Staples" and "Hurricane Network Associates". After all, any publicity is good publicity!

At the local level this is seen as an engine for fundraising, and will probably be driven by competition between school districts like Football. 'Well John, we can expect rain for the next three days as thunderstrom West Abercrombie High settles over the region, but the East Anglia High low pressure system looks to be moving in later in the week."
posted by freebird at 11:11 AM on October 20, 2005


Fenriq, you suggest abandoning a standard practice for no good reason? This is NOAA's policy. I don't believe it's law, but they do the hard work monitoring and predicting and warning, so I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to set the rules for naming. It's a hell of a lot better than the method for naming Pacific typhoons or the one South Atlantic Hurricane.

Really, is your proposal to have some sort of web-vote naming system? It's only a matter of time until Hurricane Tubgirl causes some major havoc in that case.
posted by Plutor at 11:12 AM on October 20, 2005


take that! And that! Have another one! And that!
posted by gwildar at 11:16 AM on October 20, 2005


Whoa. Cool. Interesting beyond the hurricanes. I enjoyed how when you get into July, the daily afternoon "pop" of thunderstorms across the southern U.S. has a sort of rhythm to it -- kind of like a heartbeat.

Did not check CNN. Don't read CNN. Matt can take it down.

w-g p, I don't think that's what grateful was implying. In fact, I'm guessing he meant that he saw it on TV this morning, and was hoping it would show up on a link.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:19 AM on October 20, 2005


The thing not to understand with the names is what's wrong with Q U, X, Y and Z?

This National Geographic article says that only 21 letters are used because there are "a limited number of short, distinctive first names begin with these letters."

However, this site from NWS lists storm names used in the Pacific where they do include X, Y and Z names and in the Central Pacific storm where they include U .

Q seems to be the only letter left out but I can think of a couple of names related to the sea which would serve quite well-- Quint, Queeg .
posted by notmtwain at 11:24 AM on October 20, 2005


Awesome! For the longest time I've been looking for long-term time-lapse weather imagery. I was even gonna post a AskMeFi, er, post about it.
posted by Mach5 at 11:27 AM on October 20, 2005


Queequeg!

You don't get much more sea-related than Moby Dick! Cool python ESL tools are just a bonus!
posted by freebird at 11:31 AM on October 20, 2005


Also Ursula, Xanthippe, Yolanda and Zoe.
posted by Cranberry at 12:00 PM on October 20, 2005


Here's an 82MB 640x480 version. It's incredible how the gulf slowly gets more and more red, then a big storm moves through and leaves it blue. By the time Wilma shows up the gulf is already pretty blue, which would indicate it's not gonna be a whopper.
posted by rlk at 12:04 PM on October 20, 2005


pardonyou? - precisely
posted by grateful at 12:25 PM on October 20, 2005


Hmmm...if NOAA can use Queequeg, why not go ahead and use literary characters' names for storms routinely? Hurricane Ahab has a nice ring to it...
posted by alumshubby at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2005


Wow, fascinating, thanks. I especially appreciated the little trails remaining showing their paths. One looked like it was trying to do the Alfred Hitchcock silhouette for a good bit.

Well, there is a plan to make the Weather Service more profitable by auctioning these names.

Hurricane Santorum, anyone?
posted by soyjoy at 1:46 PM on October 20, 2005


This is NOAA's policy.

No, it's the policy of the World Meteorological Organization, a UN body, which has to come up with something satisfactory for all of the scores of nations likely to be affected. The names are drawn from a pool of suggestions submitted by the member states, reflecting their own cultural traditions, which is why we get names like "Georges".

what's wrong with Q U, X, Y and Z?

It would appear that the committee devising the list of names for the North Atlantic basin tropical cyclones decided not to use them. It would appear that other committees have chosen other policies. Is this boring enough yet?

Lists of tropical cyclone names. All of them. Note they are not all using six-year lists of 21 names, and some of the lists are not alphabetical.
posted by dhartung at 2:12 PM on October 20, 2005


I like "Hurricane Zippy"

How about Zinnia, Zane, Zelda, Zweiback, Zoltan, Zot, Ziggy?

Maybe they aren't using the lists because the hurricane developed in an area under another country's jurisdiction.
I read on the National Geographic site that other countries are not bound to use the names on NOAA lists. The six lists
of 21 names were compiled by the US and are not international.
posted by bat at 3:06 PM on October 20, 2005


Huricane Queef!

All must evacuate, this hurricane is not safe for work!
posted by anthill at 4:19 PM on October 20, 2005


Thanks WGP for the post. I had seen earlier versions of this sequence on NASA TV over the summer, very briefly and only once each time, and badly wanted to be able to examine it more closely.

The most interesting thing about it is how it illustrates the concept of a warm ocean feeding the hurricanes. Each hurricane leaves a cool "trail" behind it in the water -- some do so dramatically -- which is indicative of how the ocean has given up its heat energy to the storm.

I'm downloading the 82 MB monster now (thanks rlk) for close examination later. Rock!
posted by intermod at 5:33 PM on October 20, 2005


Really amazing. Thanks.

My personal favorite is Ophelia

Yeah. It wants to make a complete tour of the East Coast, but has to make an extended pit stop at South of the Border.

By the time Wilma shows up the gulf is already pretty blue, which would indicate it's not gonna be a whopper.

Yesterday, Wilma was the strongest hurricane ever on record in the Atlantic Basin.

Sea surface temperature is not an indicator of whoppertude. *Heat differential* between ocean and upper atmosphere is. It's an equilibrium game. The ocean could be almost frozen, but if the atmostphere above is colder enough, there will be violent action. Equitorial coriolis will take care of directing the violence. Heat differential is what makes hurricane season last until late fall. Water, being more dense than air, holds more heat by volume than air, as well as collecting it longer from solar radiation and releasing it more slowly after the summer solstice. It take until the end of November for a less violent balance in heat content to arrive.

But you are spot on about the heat removal from the water in the wake of a hurricane. Good eye.
posted by 3.2.3 at 5:40 PM on October 20, 2005


Question: What if we have Alpha, Beta, etc and they need to be retired? In the case of a season like 2005 again, what will happen? Would they continue using the Greek letters minus the retired ones?
posted by daninnj at 5:51 PM on October 20, 2005


Needs more Tesla.
posted by rxreed at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2005


What if we have Alpha, Beta, etc and they need to be retired?

Aleph, Beth...

Or Alpha-1, Beta-1. Then hurricanes will FINALLY sound like evasive maneuver patterns from Star Trek.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:59 PM on October 20, 2005


Yow! Dead furry animals!
We must perform a Hurricane "Quirkafleeg!"
posted by benzo8 at 1:48 AM on October 21, 2005


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