Better yet, do you even realise that you can name one?
On the heels of the devastation Cyclone Debbie brought on South East Queensland, one of the more trivial questions that have been asked is where the name for the cyclone actually came from.
No, it wasn’t named after some meteorologist’s mother-in-law. There’s actually an elaborate system behind it, and it’s quite fascinating. It sheds some light on the cyclone names of recent memory, and those to come.
The first cyclone to be named in Australia was Cyclone Bessie, which debuted on January 6, 1964. Today, there are nearly a hundred names in rotation, from Anika to Wallace, with those yielding significant destruction being sent off to retirement.
So does that mean they’re replacing names on that list? Absolutely. There’s just a short, 50+ year waiting time to get your suggestion in there.
We’re not making this up, the process is as follows: first, you have to write to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, but don’t even bother if the name you have in mind starts with any of the following letters:
Male: A, B, F, J, R, S, T, WXYZ
Female: A, B, G, J, K, L, M, N, PQ, R, S, T, WXYZ
And if your suggested name makes it through that, it then has to be sent to the big bosses in charge of cyclone naming: the World Meteorological Organisation Regional Tropical Cyclone Committee for the South East Pacific. We wish we were kidding.
So with everything considered, it doesn’t look like it’s even worth it to try.
What do you think? Every time a cyclone came around, did you think it would’ve made a difference if it were named something else?