Hurricanes from Outer Space!
September 8, 2008 11:09 PM   Subscribe

Hurricanes, as seen from orbit. Flying straight into a Hurricane. The list of worldwide Hurricane names. The history of Hurricane names.
posted by clearly (11 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Also, the list of retired Hurricane names since 1954.

The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity. If that occurs, then at an annual meeting by the WMO committee the offending name is stricken from the list and another name is selected to replace it.

This is like the hurricane version of getting your jersey retired.
posted by clearly at 11:13 PM on September 8, 2008

This seems as good a place as any to ask: I've heard that meteorologists used to name hurricanes after their wives (until they started using male and female names for storms). It's not mentioned in the NOAA link (which sort of blandly says "they used women's names. That practice changed"). Was that made up?
posted by dismas at 11:19 PM on September 8, 2008

Beautiful, thanks!
posted by not_on_display at 11:36 PM on September 8, 2008

Jesus H. Christ On a Crutch, those NOAA people have got some Cajones. That article about fling into the eyewall of Hugo was intense.
posted by pjern at 12:48 AM on September 9, 2008

Huh, my Ex gets a hurricane name in 2012 (and since she's near the beginning of the alphabet, I know it's gonna get used). Meanwhile there's "Wendy" in 2013 in the North Atlantic, and whenever they have to use the W name, you know it won't end well.
posted by wendell at 2:07 AM on September 9, 2008

Quick stupid question -- why does the "horizon" appear to follow different curves in some of the ISS photos? The first one that got me wondering was #13, but then I realized that was the porthole obscuring the Earth.

The best example I can provide is to compare photos #14 and #18. It seems like the orbit would have to be extremely elliptic to allow that kind of variation, but then I don't know shit about photography, much less the practice thereof in space.
posted by Clamwacker at 2:54 AM on September 9, 2008

Clamwacker, that is a good question. I think the best explanation is that the variation of the horizon is just a matter of zoom. In #14 the caption says that it is a close up view, and it looks like the storm in #14 is closer to the horizon, skewing the perception a little.
posted by clearly at 3:16 AM on September 9, 2008

That story about the flight that took over 5G's was incredible. Even though i knew the ending by the fact that one of the crew wrote it, I was on the edge of my seat. Wow.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:48 AM on September 9, 2008

That's probably true, between zoom and maybe depth of field or something. It just seems like the ISS would have to be at two different extremes of altitude to get a different curvature as well as the different parallax arrangements of the "background" clouds not involved in the hurricane itself.

Zoom seems like it would be the most likely culprit, but even that seems weird when you look at the clouds on #14. It feels like they're standing on Everest when compared with the angle of #18.

Or perhaps the ISS took a quick detour seemingly 10000 miles out of orbit just for that shot? :)
posted by Clamwacker at 4:11 AM on September 9, 2008

whenever they have to use the W name, you know it won't end well.

In 2005, they went all the way through the alphabet and started over again.
posted by ColdChef at 6:19 AM on September 9, 2008

Is it just me or do these picture look...uh...yummy? You know, like merangue or something (?).
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 8:04 AM on September 9, 2008

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