call the wind virago
08 November 2003 – January 3, 2004
Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist began giving female names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th century. The use of names in written and verbal communications is quicker and less confusing than the more cumbersome latitudinal/longitudinal co-ordinates, especially when identifying the geographical movement of the storm and exchanging information between widely scattered weather stations and ships at sea.
When a storm is particularly severe, causing death and destruction, the name is retired – rather like the hockey jerseys of great players. In the West Indies hurricanes were often named after the particular saint’s day on which they occurred. In some regions there are lists of rotating names so storms yet to happen already have designated names.
Sarindar Dhaliwal is a Toronto-based artist and a former Kingston resident who has yet to experience a hurricane.