My List of Hurricane Names to Strike Fear in our Hearts

June 3rd, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The title of a new PNAS study is, believe it or not, Female Hurricanes are Deadlier than Male Hurricanes.

Researchers found that hurricanes striking the U.S. killed on average twice as many people if they had a female name rather than a male name. Outlier storms such as Katrina (2005) were excluded from the analysis.

The researchers are convinced that the reason is because we don’t take female hurricanes seriously. Seriously.

To support their conclusion, in surveys of college students they also found that students were more likely to say they would evacuate when asked about the approach of a hypothetical storm that had a male, rather than a female name. When explicitly asked if their decision would be affected by the storm’s gender, they said no…but their response to specific storm names was biased anyway.

As you might recall (if you are old enough), the switch from all-female names occurred in 1979 for the Atlantic basin, to counter claims that the long-standing practice of using only female names was sexist. I remember well the mood in the country back then. The last thing you wanted to be called was “sexist”.

Clearly, we need a set of names that is menacing. No Hurricane Heathers or Missys.

So, in the interests of moving the ball forward and saving some lives, here’s my proposed list. They are mostly all male names, because we can’t have people dying just because they won’t get out of the way of Hurricane Angelica.


Adolf (all WWII veterans & German tourists would evacuate)
Butch (THE most masculine name of the 1950s)
Chase (hurry! it’s gaining on us!!)
Dallas (dripping with testosterone)
Ezekiel (“may God strengthen him”)
Fidel (99% of all Cuban-Americans would evacuate)
Gusto (wind gust, oh, about 150 mph)
Hillary (would you believe…Sir Edmund?)
Ivan (has that manly, Russian, crazy-Ivan feel)
Jezebel (don’t trust any forecasts of this one)
Katrina (that bitch is back again?)
Luthor (as in Lex —)
Manley (well, DUH)
Noah (flooding could be widespread)
Ozzy (that storm will hit like a crazy train on a dark Sunday)
Pandora (you don’t fly into this one)
Quentin (you might not escape from this one)
Rocky (’nuff said)
Stormy (yup)
Tyrone (seems very masculine to me)
Ulysses (destined to be the strongest storm on record)
Victor (evacuate or you lose)
Waylon (this outlaw storm gonna wail on you)
Xena (better get out of her way)
Yuk (a very messy storm)
Ziba (biblical, “strength” or “fight”ť)

We would also stop retiring storm names that were especially severe. Hopefully, people would get out of the way if Hurricane Katrina came to visit again. Eventually, just about every name would strike fear in our hearts because we would be reminded of just how bad Hurricane Adolf was way back in 2015.

40 Responses to “My List of Hurricane Names to Strike Fear in our Hearts”

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  1. James says:

    How could you forget Maximus?!? 🙂

  2. Francisco says:

    I’d like one called “Pancho Villa”.

    My great grand pa used to ride with him and do we ever have stories!

  3. Mark Pomeroy says:

    A friend of mine suggested naming them after deadly diseases. Who would not take “Astrocytoma” seriously.

  4. mpcraig says:

    Here are my suggestions:


  5. bernie says:

    “…college students…more likely…”

    If people (college “students”, you say?) are so stupid and shallow in their thinking about life and death…

    And if “scientists” are so underemployed that they are reduced to “studying” this nonsense…

    much weeding needs to occur in the worlds of “students”, “scientists” and “studiers”.

    • James says:

      Good point! But I still enjoyed the post. 🙂

      • Calvin says:

        And if those scientists who did this study were silly enough to think college students were a representative sample of Americans, I think I’ve lost all faith in scientists.

  6. darrylb says:

    Ok–off the humor subject for a bit, but—

    I recently read in your blog that the % of moisture in the atmosphere has not been increasing. I do not know the date range or elevations to which you were referring.
    I would think this would be a prime consideration in the nature of feedback in the climate system.
    Could you give or do you have a source where one might find this information —- as much info as possible.

  7. Greg says:

    What about transgender storms like Sandy. I hope they were not excluded, that would be very un P.C.

  8. Gunga Din says:

    There’s potential here.
    You could name hurricanes based on who you wanted to save.
    You want to save CAGWers, Hurricane Carbon!
    You want to “Save the Children”, Hurricane Homework!
    You want to “Save the Trees”, Hurricane Mann! (How do you get a tree ring?)
    You want to save the Mannequins, Hurricane FOIA!
    You want to save the taxpayers and/or Tea Partiers, Hurricane IRiS!

    The list could go on and on….

  9. Greg says:

    “Outlier storms such as Katrina (2005) were excluded from the analysis.”

    Indeed, as is Traditional in climatology, any data that does not fit the premice you had before looking at the data has to be eliminated as “unsuitable” ( Gergis et al 2012 ) or simply inverted ( MBH 1998 )

    Slightly less famous is Hanawa et al 2000 , cited by Folland & Parker as “validation” of the Hadley bias corrections to SST. This paper eliminates nearly half of the available data before declaring that Hadley bucket “corrections” bring the local ICOADS SST values closer to measurements made by japanese fishing boats… using buckets.

  10. David Gray says:

    I can’t believe no one suggested ROCKY!

    • Bert Walker says:

      David, RS did.
      look at his blog again, “Rocky (’nuff said)” was in the list.
      What was missing was “Rambo” since “Sylvester” probably won’t make any list.

  11. Calvin says:

    Barack–Comes storming out of the barracks and guns you down.
    Hussein–The terrorist storm.
    Obama–Brings a fundamental transformation to America.

  12. Hurricane Godzilla has a nice ring to it.

  13. Fonzarelli says:

    I live in new orleans and was fortunate enough to return to a deserted french quarter just two weeks after katrina… It was a very quiet and serene scene; a bit eery yet peaceful at the same time. A local gift shop had a store window in which was always placed a cross dressing doll with slogans attached to him. Often these slogans would be political or sarcastic in nature. (sometimes surprisingly conservative) Well, apparently the shop owners had returned early as well, for a new slogan had been placed with a quite disheveled doll…


  14. David L. Hagen says:

    Re: Hillary (would you believe…Sir Edmund?)
    Norgay as in Tenzing
    (He was a good neighbor!)
    It gets “a bit breezy” atop Mt. Everest.

  15. Nylo says:

    Why not just name them after some of the clasical monsters in most fantasy games? They inspire more than enough fear. These would certainly be in my list of things I don’t want to get on the way of:


  16. Francisco says:

    Well, I downloaded the file. Needless to say some values are wrong, assigning male names to female ones and viceversa.

    Correcting genders:

    62 females, 29 males (1950-2012 but I think there might have been a few missed)

    Cat: 1-5

    Max deaths: Camille, 1956, 256 deaths, followed by Diane, 1955, 200 deaths, then Sandy, 2012, 159 deaths and then Agnes, 1972, 117 deaths.

    So… the four deadliest are indeed female (unless my ESL got in the way of name gender)…

    Total fem named deaths: 1454 ratio 1454/62=23.45 dead/fem hurricane
    Total male named deaths: 446 ratio: 446/29=15.38 dead/male hurricane

    If I was to conclude anything from this study is that cat 1 & 2 hurricanes kill more people than cat 3 or 4

  17. DavidE says:

    This study has to be a prank. Nobody could seriously believe such nonsense except a climate scientist. Some of them believe that Genghis Khan was responsible for global cooling.

    Anyway, here are some names to add:

    Bain and Brainiac: Batman and Superman Villains
    Cujo: Remember the dog
    Freddie: Freddie Kruger
    Genghis: Genghis Khan
    Jason: Jason Voorhees
    Norman: Norman Bates

  18. stevek says:

    I’m leaving town immediatley if one approaches with the same name as my ex-wife.

  19. john r t says:

    The Medici family offers some fem-names.
    I want Cruella, followed that year by de Ville.
    Speaking of autos, Edsel; R Nadir’s suggestion, ‘un-safe at any speed,’ leads to a notable nautical name.
    Hellenic sailors would stand off from Medusa.
    Leona would give the helmsmen a start.
    Horse breeders have greater sway, and more fun, in naming.

    Thanks for the wo/man mortality stats.
    Let the season begin.

  20. I like the idea of keeping the current practice of a 4-year list of storms, where the names get recycled every 4 years. But the names get changed to monster names – such as names of monsters, evil characters, and famous criminals.

    And if a storm achieves 97th to 99th-plus percentile damage toll (in the 1979-onwards record) by either body count or the ratio of damage cost to the national value of real estate, then that storm’s name gets retired – but not “for real”.

    Maybe the storm’s name 4 years later could be “Katrina Emeritus”.

    I like the idea of: (Many suggested above)

    Adolf Atom-Bomb Atilla Assassin
    Butch Bomber Banshee Blaster (or Batman)
    Cruncher Clutch Claws Conquistador (or Cowboy)
    Daimon Demon Devil Dallas
    Ezekiel Edwyn Ergot Espresso
    Fidel Frigger Fran Frankie (or Fighter-jet)
    Godzilla Genghis Gustov Gail
    Hydra Hunter Hellacious Hammer
    Iris IRS Ivan Incoming
    Judge Jezebel Jesse Juror (or Jury)
    Killer Klutz Kablammie Katrina IIUlysses
    Leviathin Luthor Lux Lever
    Monster Manley Morgan Masher
    Noah Nihil Nutcracker Nast (or Norman)
    Ozzy Oblong Ogre Octopus
    Pandora Peter Paul Pushy
    Rocky Rat-nest Raunchy Ravisher
    Stormy Shackles Shack Sandstorm
    Thunder Thor Trouble Traffic-jam
    Ulysses Ultime Umpire Uncle-Frank
    Victor Vince Vector Vortex
    Wasteland Washout Whipmaster Wipeout
    Xena Xenon X-out X-ray
    Yuk Yev Youngbrat Youthlust
    Zelda Zippo Zinker Zipper

  21. I forgot to name famous criminals, such as Capone, J. James, and the slightly-famous (in Philadelphia) Mulholland. Also, I am OK with the name rotation being on a basis of 5 years or more.

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  23. Jim Cooper says:

    Hi Roy,

    I could not help but grin at your post, but I hope you realize that you are indeed indirectly contributing to the rise of the army of garage scientists who think that the body of scientific knowledge accumulated painstakingly by generations of scientists is an annoying hindrance to truly revolutionary theory and inventions made by independent thinkers.

    The rise of “blog as textbook” means that anyone wishing to believe or doubt any scientific theory can readily find a website community replete with hundreds of comments that confirm that they are correct and everything any scientist or textbook says is biased or wrong because of grant writing greed, group think, liberal government conspiracies, conservative government conspiracies, the peer review mafia, or the military/industrial/oil complex.

    Not a fan of the “green house theory”? No problem, you are just a few clicks away from entire journals and books that explain why the Second Law of Thermodynamics says it is nonsense. Not a fan of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Again, not a problem, because there is no shortage of blogs and comments affirming it is not true. Conservation of Energy? Whatever.

    In the “blog as textbook” world, PhDs are a sure sign of close-mindedness. A long publication list in top journals only proves that the author is a slave to the publication/grant cycle of evil. True street cred only comes from stating with certainty that mainstream (and/or classical) science has run its course. The true visionary doesn’t even need an education. Common sense and an “open” mind are enough to topple any scientific dogma. Equations and direct experiments are also unnecessary.

    Does any of this sound familiar? Read through the comments of your more “controversial” topics like when you try to reinforce the blasphemy that back-radiation can be measured directly with cheap instruments. Then read your own posts and see how similar they sound. Of course we all know that the D.C.’s of the world are just cranks, while the Dr. Roy Spencer’s of the world are infallible. It doesn’t matter if you believe the opposite, this is the place to reinforce your opinion that your own personal views are correct. If Roy seems to scientific, you can try Watts or the Dragon Slayers. Or go the other way to Judith Curry. Or stick up your nose and go to RealClimate. It takes no time at all to find a ready confirmation that you are right and everyone else is wrong.

    We should also not overlook the growing community of cold fusion/LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction) acolytes who are convinced that Fleischman and Pons should get an apology and a Noble prize for the treatment they got from the scientists (with the help of the government and the oil industrial complex). A good place to research this is Do you know we are just days away from a confirmation of a virtually limitless energy source based on nickle hydrogen reactions that have an energy density orders of magnitude greater than plutonium reactors with no radioactive waste and almost limitless fuel supplies? Wind, solar, nuclear, coal, and natural gas will be uncompetitive within a few years.

    Sadly for you, this too will mean that carbon emissions will soon plummet, and nobody will know if the AGH theory is right or wrong. Unless the King of Saudi Arabia and the CEO of Exxon succeed in convincing the coming Republican Senate majority to order the US military to bury the technology. I am betting on the latter.

    Jim Cooper

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