Magazine article Technology and Children

How Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?

Magazine article Technology and Children

How Do Hurricanes Get Their Names?

Article excerpt

Hurricane season is here. That means you are hearing about severe weather systems with names. For hundreds of years, big storms were named after saints' days. Later, meteorologists used longitude and latitude positions to identify hurricanes. But they realized first names are easier to use when tracking bad weather, so they started using women's names. In 1979, they began using both men and women's names.

The World Meteorological Organization rotates among six separate name lists for hurricanes. When a weather system starts turning counter-clockwise and has wind speeds of 39 mph or greater, the Tropical Prediction Center assigns the next name from the current list to give the storm a name. Thus, the 2002 list will be used again in 2008. Names of hurricanes that have caused lots of damage or deaths are retired from the lists.

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) have been tracking severe storms for more than 25 years. TV weather broadcasts use GOES data to show viewers what's happening. The satellites fly high above the Earth. Scientists (and kids watching the weather report on TV) get an amazing look at intense weather systems. …

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