A building ridge of high pressure continues to pump up our temperatures and keep our skies clear right through the next several days. Saturday’s high should climb to the mid-80s and low 90s are a real possibility Sunday and Monday. Winds should stay light throughout the period, with breezes picking up ahead of some cooler air moving into the region the middle of next week.
While it can get confusing, when it comes to naming hurricanes there is a separate list of names for each oceanic region. The Atlantic is the one on which most people seem to concentrate, since those hurricanes tend to do the damage to the United States. But the eastern Pacific also forms a lot of hurricanes (and is in fact way ahead of the Atlantic this year), and has its own list of yearly names. An easy way of keeping score between the two ocean areas is to see which name they are on.
But that’s not the only confusing aspect of naming hurricanes. After mentioning Hurricane Linda in the Pacific, James wrote to ask, “Shouldn’t that be Typhoon Linda?” Many are under the false impression that Pacific storms should be called typhoons, but that’s not necessarily the case.
In the Pacific, a storm can be called either a hurricane or a typhoon, depending on where it is when it gains tropical storm status. If it forms in the eastern Pacific (our side of the International Date Line), they are called hurricanes once the winds hit a sustained speed of 74 mph. So all the big storms we see along the Mexican Riviera are called hurricanes. Typhoons are “hurricanes” that form west of the Date Line. Other than the nomenclature and location, there’s no difference between a hurricane and a typhoon.
The global community gets creative with its naming conventions when it comes to these kinds of storms. In the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and in some waters of Australia, these storms are called cyclones, which can get confused with an informal term used to describe tornados in our Midwest. In the Philippines, they call them baguios. And to add to the confusion, some call Australian hurricanes “willy willys”. It gets worse, because “willy willy” is also a moniker for an Australian dust devil.
Must be all that time upside down (under).