Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nope, Hurricane Center Was Not Trolling President With Tropical Storm Don

Tropical Storm Don fizzled, but that's not a slam
against Donald Trump.
Some people make a lot of connections that aren't there.

Take the late, not so great Tropical Storm Don.  

As noted here, it formed Monday. Yesterday, the National Hurricane Center accurately described Tropical Storm Don as "small" and "not particularly well organized."

Which to many people meant that the National Hurricane Center intentionally named a wimpy storm Don to troll the president and then poke fun at him when the storm did not turn into a big monster.

Tropical Storm Don, by the way, has fizzled out as expected. 

The tweet storms involving the tropical storm and the president will probably continue full force for God knows how long.

Here are the facts: The World Meteorological Organization has committees that come up with the names of tropical systems all over the world, including in the Atlantic basin.

The same tropical storm and hurricane names rotate through, so you get the same names every five years. They come in alphabetical order. Don's first letter starts with "D, " the fourth letter in the alphabet.  It was the fourth tropical storm in the Atlantic this year.

Even though you normally get the same hurricane name every five years, the names of particularly destructive and memorable hurricanes are retired and replaced with new names. That's why you'll never see a Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Sandy again.

Here's how Don got on the list: In 2005, Hurricane Dennis trashed the Florida panhandle. Dennis was then retired as a name. According to the Associated Press, because Dennis was an English male name, the World Meteorological Society allowed the United States to replace Dennis with another English male name.

Don was chosen. Max Mayfield, the former director of the National Hurricane Center, said nobody had anybody particular in mind when Don was chosen.

By the way, there have been other presidential hurricanes. In 1997, when Bill Clinton was president, there was a Hurricane Bill, which didn't amount to much and stayed far out to sea.

By the way, if the list of tropical storms gets up to the letter "H" in the eastern Pacific, it would become Tropical Storm or Hurricane Hilary.

So we would have been screwed on Twitter no matter who got elected president last November.

Some of the jokes on Twitter about this whole situation were kind of funny, though.

One tweet informed us: "Tropical Storm Don as formed in the Atlantic Ocean and we're predicting it will be spending some time at a NJ golf club by the weekend."

"Tropical Storm Don will tell you how much damage it will do and then fizzle out and blame Hurricane Hillary," said another tweet.

The bottom line is, some people might think President Trump is small and not well organized, but the fact that Tropical Storm Don had those characteristics was coincidental.

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