Female hurricane names not taken as seriously as male - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Female hurricane names not taken as seriously as male

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 It's the age old question, "what's in a name?" Well, a recent study found that when it comes to hurricanes, the name can be very important.

Claudette, Joyce, Wendy...not exactly names that strike fear into the hearts of most people. But then again neither does Bill, Isaac, or Peter. Yet when it comes to hurricanes, one group of names seems to be taken more seriously than the other.

In a recent, small study done by the University of Illinois and Arizona State University, female named storms were found to be nearly twice as deadly as male named storms. Researchers suggest that people don't prepare as well for female storms and don't expect them to be as intense.

But we decided to do our own investigation. We presented people this list of six names that are actually on the list of Atlantic hurricane names:

Bertha
Joaquin
Matthew
Victor
Ophelia

We asked our participants which name sounded the most threatening.

"Bertha," said Sara Domonoske

"I would say Bertha, just because i think of Big Bertha when i hear that one so it's a gimme," reasoned Brian. After studying the list again he said, "Actually, Victor's kind of intimidating on this list, too."

Joan Lobianco said "Whitney," but her husband Bill disagreed. "I'm going to have to say Bertha."

"Victor." "Yeah i was going to say Victor or Bertha!" said Kristin and Travis Pressler.

So, the majority of the people we questioned picked female names. And they gave us some pretty good reasons, too.

"Think about women. We are like hurricanes!" exclaimed Joan Lobianco.

"I'd probably come closer to evacuating for one named after a female actually," said Kathryn Vatili

"What about you?" Kristin Pressler asked her husband. "Probably female," Travis responded. "You think female's more threatening? She questioned. "Any reason why? Katrina?" His response was brutally honest, "Because females are evil."

But the case can be made that the men's names sound stronger.


"Maybe because female names are very nurturing and they think they're going to be taken care of. Like their mothers. So, maybe they feel that its going to be alright, when actually its not," offers Sara Domonoske.

"I guess they have a nice little tune to them. It's like 'Oh, Sophia's coming this way. It's no biggie. I can wait it out.' But Victor, I'm like, 'he's going to come and conquer this place, we gotta clear out!'" reasons Brian.

A
nd then there's the folks who didn't pick a side.

"I don't think it would make a difference, I'm going [to evacuate]," says Cheryl Carlson

"I've never been through a hurricane, but I think I would prepare for any hurricane, female or male," says Kristin Pressler. 

All I've got to say is, if there's ever a Hurricane Christine, you better run for cover!

But in all seriousness, no matter the name of the storm, it's important for those that live along the coast to prepare properly and respect every storm.

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