SlideMoor Weathers Hurricane Irma, and Then Ponders its Name

It’s been a busy season! Just consider Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria….

Busy hurricane season, that is. In fact, the 2017 hurricane season has now joined the ranks of among the top 10 most active on record. And the season’s not even over yet….

Though we certainly wish it was, especially given that we here at SlideMoor felt the full force of Hurricane Irma. But we’re happy to report that damages to our facilities were minimal and that our local employees also weathered the storm with limited repercussions. We are also heartened to hear that many boat owners using our SlideMoor system reported that their SlideMoor-docked boats rode out Hurricane Irma with ease. In fact, our office has been receiving numerous messages of praise for our docking system, accompanied by testimonials and photos of undamaged boats.

So, what’s up with these hurricanes, anyway? Well, according to some theories, we’re just going to have to blame those butterflies over on the west coast of Africa.

Say what? we can hear you saying.

Well, what we’re referring to is a concept under chaos theory—the science of surprises of the nonlinear and unpredictable—known as the Butterfly Effect, which posits that the air stirred up by a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa’s Sahara Dessert can evolve into a hurricane if given the right timing and conditions.

Essentially, as the theory goes, the air stirred up by that butterfly wing flap starts generating its own energy through evaporation of water from the ocean surface, the energy being formed by the warm moist air cooling as it rises. Given time and no interference from other atmospheric conditions, like a wind shear from a different butterfly’s wing, and the energy will keep getting stronger and eventually create all the components that make up this leviathan of a storm, which we then call “Irma,” “Norma Rae,” “Beatrice,” etc., rather than a more appropriate name such as “Satan’s Spawn,” “Diabolus,” or the like.

And they are monsters. Even 1999’s Hurricane Floyd, a mild Category 1 storm, managed to mow down 19 million trees and cause more than $1 billion in damages along the U.S. east coast. Of course, our hurricanes don’t have anything over the ones that form on the planet Jupiter. There’s one on that planet bigger than our earth that has been spinning around for 300 years. Seen by telescope as a red dot, it’s the most noticeable feature on the planet. Earth’s most monstrous hurricane depends upon how it’s being classified—that is whether size, duration, wind speed, barometric pressure, cost of damages, lives lost, ships lost, etc.

Given their monstrous nature, why don’t we give them monstrous names, you ask?

Well, naming hurricanes is relatively new, and only initiated in 1950 when they started naming them after the U.S. military’s phonetic alphabet. This didn’t go over so well when they got to “Hurricane Love” and “Hurricane Easy,” the latter being the worst to hit the Florida Keys in 70 years. Of course, with only 26 phonetic names, they ran out that roster and started naming them after women, because of hurricanes’ “unpredictable” and “temperamental” nature. That naming regime worked fine in the 1950s and ‘60s, but didn’t survive the evolving feminist movement that came in their wake; so male names were added starting in 1978.

The addition of male names makes total sense, but really, the hurricane-naming powers that be should have considered a run through of monstrous names prior to utilizing any people names.

Hurricane Irma? Hurricane Harvey? Come on, that’s like naming a hurricane after a butterfly….

How about something with awe-inspiring power like “Hurricane Frankenstein,” “Hurricane Succubus,” “Hurricane Godzilla,” or “Hurricane Sauron?”


M.J. Moye

M.J. Moye

M.J. Moye is an editorial consultant and sailor who lives in Chester, Nova Scotia.
M.J. Moye

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