November 29, 2007

What's in a Name?

The Hurricane Center is giving names to storms that never would have been named in the past.  This year's Tropical Storm Chantal and Tropical Storm Jerry, for example, had wind speeds of 39 miles per hour for less than a day without much drop in their central pressure.  Adding these types of storms (4 or 6 just this year) to the record might seem like no big deal, but it makes it almost impossible to compare modern hurricane seasons to seasons before the 1990's and makes current seasons, on paper, seem worse than in the past.  In addition, insurance companies base their rates on how many named tropical storms occur each year, so you folks on the coastlines are paying higher rates than you might if the Hurricane Center were more conservative.

No comments: