After superstorm Sandy created large-scale devastation across US and cyclone Nilam is on its way to hit Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, Oct 31 evening, both names "Sandy" and "Nilam" would be avoided by parents to call their new born babies. And those who already share names like Nilam and Sandy, then it is too late for their parents to do anything.
According to YeahBaby.com there is plenty of evidence that hurricane/cyclone/storm names can adversely affect the popularity of a baby name. Its been proven over and over again. Hurricane Andrew provides the perfect example.
Andrew is the most costly hurricane of all time, ravaging Florida, US in 1992. Hurricane Andrew also ravaged the popularity of the baby name Andrew. In 1991, the baby name 'Andrew' was the 6th most common baby name in the US. Yet in 1993, the popularity of the name Andrew fell to the 10th most common. Over 4,000 fewer babies were named Andrew just two years prior. Similar names Andy, Andres, and Andre also saw decreased popularity in 1993. Andrew has since recovered to being the 5th most common baby name in the US. But the baby name 'Andrew' is not alone.
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Hurricane names are chosen from a giant list selected by the World Meteorological Organisation, according to NASA. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) says the practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) was adopted years ago to help identify them so that people could be informed about their arrival quickly.
Hurricanes/storms have been named using a variety of systems. First, they were named after Catholic saints. Later on, the latitude-longitude positions of a storm's formation was used as a name. This was a little too cumbersome to use in conversation.
Military meteorologists started giving female names to storms during World War II and in 1950, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) adopted the method. The WMO devised a system of rotating, alphabetical names. (Names can be retired at WMO meetings by request from a nation that has been hit by the storm. The name is then not used for 10 years, which makes historic references and insurance claims easier.)
In the late-1970s, the system was given a dose of political correctness and male names were added to the Atlantic hurricanes list, as were French and Spanish names, reflecting the languages of the nations affected by the storms. (Back at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conference in 1972, Roxcy Bolton had proposed naming hurricanes after US Senators instead of women.)