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Henry Lind's Weather Watch
by Henry Lind

Weather Watch

A Daily Gazette news blog
Weather events in our region and why they happen

Another naming issue

This time we are talking about the naming rights for hurricanes. Recently published data confirms that the public’s perception of danger is significantly different if a hurricane bears a female name rather than masculine. Statistics show that over the past 50 years more than double the number of deaths have been attributed to storms with female names.

Further research with hundreds of individuals had similar results in that the perceived danger from a storm with a female name was significantly less than that of a male. As a result, the level of preparedness for dealing with female named storms was similar — less prepared for a woman’s name due to perception of gentleness.

As with any scientific discussion there is not full agreement on the need to overhaul the naming of storms, the message is clear that we need to discount our social expectations when preparing for an extreme weather event. Remember Irene ?

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