August 29, 2023

Idalia is Coming: How Florida's Newest Visitor Got Her Name

This post may contain affiliate links from places like Amazon and Green Man Gaming — and we may earn a small commission when you click these links. All earnings will go to keeping this website as minimally ad-free as possible. Learn more here.

Idalia is Coming: How Florida's Newest Visitor Got Her Name

By Nick | August 29, 2023

A Storm by Any Other Name

Florida, the Sunshine State, is no stranger to hurricanes, and this week, as the state braces for Hurricane Idalia, residents are hustling to stock up on batteries, bottled water, and other essentials. Yet, amidst the hurricane preparation frenzy, a thought might strike the curious mind: "Why 'Idalia'? Who decides these names, and how do hurricanes get them in the first place?"

The Brief History of Naming Storms

Once upon a Floridian storm, hurricanes didn't have personalized monikers. In fact, they were often described by a system of numbers, specifically latitude-longitude, which was about as exciting and memorable as reading the fine print on your insurance policy. But tracking and discussing storms with numbers alone became complicated. Imagine saying, "Remember that hurricane at 23.7N, 75.1W in 1933?" Not quite the catchiest of memories.

Before official naming began, hurricanes were sometimes named arbitrarily. For example, a storm that ripped the shores on San Felipe's Day became the "San Felipe Hurricane". If another hurricane hit on the same day in a different year? Just add the year to the end of the name. Confusing? Absolutely.

Ladies First, Gentlemen Next

During the mid-1900s, however, meteorologists began naming storms after women. This idea was inspired by the practice of Navy meteorologists, who named the typhoons after their wives and girlfriends (hopefully not too many storms after exes). By the 1950s, the United States officially adopted a female naming system for hurricanes.

By the 1970s, advancements in societal views paved equality. Men's names, for example, were introduced to the mix, and storms became an equal opportunity with Hurricane Bob making its debut in 1979.

The Alphabet Soup of Storms

Today, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is responsible for naming hurricanes. They maintain six rotating lists of names, alternating between male and female names in alphabetical order for the Atlantic storms. If a storm is particularly deadly or costly, its name gets retired out of respect for its victims, and a new name starting with the same letter takes its place.

With the 2023 arrival of Hurricane Idalia, it's evident that we're in the "I" section of this year's list. Past memorable "I" storms include Irma and Ike, and we all hope Idalia doesn’t leave a mark as deep as its predecessors.

What’s in a Name?

As Florida waits, watches, and braces for Hurricane Idalia, it's intriguing to reflect on the rich history and culture behind the storm's name. Naming hurricanes humanizes these natural events, making them more relatable and memorable. But while their names might seem casual and almost friendly, the power they wield is anything but.

So, Floridians, as you ponder Idalia's origins, also remember to stay safe, prepared, and resilient, as you always do when faced with the mighty forces of nature.

For more on hurricane preparedness, check out this comprehensive guide.

July 19, 2024
Blurry But Cute - First Pictures of Bigfoot Jr.

Are they real or just another blurry hoax? Find out in this article about Junior's photo press debut

Read More
July 18, 2024
Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess (Steam) Review

Relive retro gaming glory with a nostalgic helicopter shooter blending classic charm with modern twists

Read More
July 16, 2024
The World After the Dinosaur Apocalypse

Explore the ten events following the extinction of dinosaurs, from climate changes to the rise of new species, and how this paved the way for modern life.

Read More


March 27, 2021
Super Mario 3D World Switch Review

Super Mario 3D World isn't going to set the world on fire but it still shines as a perfect example of what refining a working formula can achieve.

July 8, 2023
A World Where Deep-Sea Adventures and Exotic Sushi Collide: Dave the Diver (Steam) Review

Dive headfirst and discover a realm where the mysteries of the deep sea intertwine with the artistry of sushi-making

August 9, 2023
The Forging of the One Ring in "The Lord of the Rings"

In the the desolate and fiery landscape of Mount Doom, Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor, undertakes a sinister endeavor – the forging of the One Ring.

June 17, 2021
I've Outpaced Everyone, Now I'm Bored - Pacer (Steam) Review

Pacer is a beautifully crafted anti-gravity racer that's hampered by seriously bad AI and handling

January 27, 2023
Heaven Dust Collection Gets a Switch Release

Classics-inspired survival horror games get a dual physical Nintendo Switch release on February 2nd!

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram