NAMES OF STORMS

Remember when hurricanes were given only women’s names? I have a vague memory of women’s groups protesting the tyranny, gender bashing and disrespect of naming these unforgetable storms after women. It was bad enough women have been stereotyped for centuries as naggers and gossips and divided as either bad or good, or judged by how well they cooked or kept house.

In years past, romance novels pushed this to the extreme, as did TV shows and ads. (Imagine wearing pearls and high heels while cooking or cleaning the house!) Adding men’s names to the hurricane list was a cause for female celebration.

But gender contentions aside, I was watching a weather report recently that showed some name that started with “Q.” The capitalized name kept appearing on the bottom bar of the screen. I stared at the word trying to figure out where the town was located – or had I even heard of this town. Or, was it a town? It certainly wasn’t a county or country.

Later I realized that this Q-name was one the weather forecasters had given a winter storm. Yep. We’ve gone from naming chickens of the sea, to giving handles to hurricanes, to putting the dunce-naming cap on winter storms. Winter storms.

These wind and snow events are the harsher ones that regularly occur. They are not equal to twisters, tornadoes and hurricanes which can be and are life-changing.

You know what I’m waiting for? These local snow squalls and thunder showers that dance across the pastures, fields, and mountains here to get tagged with names. I mean, “Good gosh, there goes Andrew. Wait! Can’t use that one. It’s in the hurricane file and was discontinued.”

I can suggest a few for this trend: the Sasquashed Squall, the Susquehanna Succatash Shower, the Accidental Flurries-for-the-Moment, the Fly-Bye Ghost … .

Think I might get a copyright on these names?

Malaina (June ‘19) adds, “The gender-naming changes occurred back in –let me see –the1980s. The most

dangerous hurricanes I can remember off the top of my brain are Hurricanes Andrew, Charlie, Frederick and Ivan. I lived in North Alabama with my family back in the 1970s. The area was called Tornado Alley for a reason! Fast forward to the early 2000s. One day, my son brought home a book titled Night of the Twister from one of those terrible funnels.

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