MIAMI – Elsa, Anna and Olaf. Read those names to every child or parent and they will tell you right away that it is the caste of the Disney Frozen box office hit.
Ask a meteorologist though you may get another answer.
It turns out that when the list of hurricane names came out for 2021, it coincidentally contained many of the same character names in the hit movie.
Tropical Storm Ana, like her name in the movie, did not have much power. Ana started the hurricane season in the Atlantic forming on May 22 in the middle of the ocean. It lasted only two days and managed steady winds of 40 knots before losing its tropical characteristics.
Hurricane Elsa had a little more power when it formed in early July and briefly reached Category 1 hurricane status, causing some damage in Barbados. Elsa regained the force of the hurricane as it approached the northwest coast of Florida, but weakened in a tropical storm before landing in eastern Florida on July 7th. She set a record for the earliest tropical storm of the season.
And now currently, Hurricane Olaf, finally spending some time in the summer, was in the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of Baja California.
Olaf what decided to wash from the south Baja California Sur on Friday as a Category 1 storm. Heavy rains were bringing the potential for significant flooding and landslides in the area.
Names for hurricanes are defined by World Meteorological Organization.
There they are six lists of different names which rotate every year and repeat after six years, so this year list is the same as 2015 and 2009, etc. Ana and Olaf were on their respective lists even then, so they preceded the film.
List of hurricane names in the Atlantic Ocean. (Courtesy: World Meteorological Organization)
But Elsa is a newcomer to the list. Storm “E” on that particular list was “Erika” until retired after the 2015 season courage has caused significant damage and flood victims on the island of Dominica. Frozen was released in 2013 and “Elsa” was added to the 2021 list in 2016.
The WMO does not publish exactly how specific names are chosen, only that should be easy to understand and in the case of the Atlantic basin, come from the English, Spanish or French names to reflect the geographical coverage of the Atlantic and Caribbean countries.
So it ‘s likely that a coincidence Elsa appeared on the list this year, though it’ s likely to have a 7 in 10 chance. “Let it gowas playing somewhere in the background when it came time to choose substitute “E”.
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