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Welcome Tropical Storm Alpha

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Oct. 22nd, 2005 | 09:33 am

[Image of 3-day forecast of predicted track, and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

If only my grandmother were still alive! She'd been in nervous-weather heaven this hurricane season.

Although she lived just south of Boston in not exactly prime hurricane territory, she tracked every storm and was sure that each was going to make straight for Massachusetts and do us in. At the start of the hurricane season, she'd mail into WBZ to get weatherman Don Kent's special hurricane tracking map. She'd mark every tropical depression/storm/hurricane's position using the latitude and longitude thoughtfully broadcast by Mr. Kent and his cohorts.

Sure, it might look like a storm was going to peter out over the South Carolina coast and yet again spare our town. But, my grandmother knew that you couldn't be too cautious, and she'd track the storms until they were reduced to scattered showers.

I remember that along one side of the map, there was the list of storm names queued up for the year: Alma, Buellah, Charlotte, etc. They were all girl names when I was growing up and learning my grandmother's obsession with the weather and worry.

Grandmother would just be uncontrollable this year.  We've gone through our entire 2005 named allotment of Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria Nate, Ophelia Phillipe, Rita, Stan,Tammy, Vince, and Wilma.

Now the season's 25th tropical depression is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm.  That's the tipping point where it gets its own name. 

Poor depression #25. We're out of names!  Grandmother would be giddy to learn that the rule book covers this situation.  When we run out of people names, we dip into the Greek alphabet and start naming storms after the letters there.

So, I'm prepared to welcome to little Alpha when she's born.  It looks like she'll miss the prime hurricane-bait land like otterpop58's home. (Apparently Wilma called dibs on Florida first.)

Grandmother's tracking map would be a message of pencil smudges with the storm locations this year.  Let's hope we give the pencils -- and people of the Southeast -- a rest and not venture any further toward hurricane Omega.

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Comments {2}

dr_scott

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from: dr_scott
date: Oct. 22nd, 2005 06:24 pm (UTC)
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What's wrong with Hurricane Xerxes, or Xavier, or Xander? Xenia for a women's name. They just aren't trying that hard. And we can get past #27 using Aaron.

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Galen of the Ozdachs Pack

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from: ozdachs
date: Oct. 22nd, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC)
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I thought that there were 26 names a year myself. I guess the weather service got tired of printing Zeke's and Zelda's on the list and never using them.

I expected them to tip into the 2006 pool, but, no, that's not the rule. Instead, the weather service goes Greek!

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