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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Know your Storm

I received one of those " Living in Brisbane" leaflets through my door and I always find them useful to read right the way through whether it is to find out about community activities or tell you how to recycle and where. 

This edition is brimming with great opportunities and activities but it also has an item called- be prepared for storm season. This got me thinking about cyclones and typhoons and hurricanes and I realized that I knew nothing about them.

Now seriously do you know your cyclone from your hurricane? I thought not. 

Do you know why some of them have male names and others female names ?

So I decided to do a little research to find out more about this. 

There is really no significant difference between these three named weather systems. They are actually named mainly from where they occur as this map shows taken from the web:

Weather map

So basically in North America the weather systems are called Hurricanes. In the western Pacific and in Asia they are called Typhoons and in the Southern hemisphere and the Indian Ocean they are mainly referred to as Tropical Cyclones. 

They are accumulations of air that centre around an area of low pressure, bringing high speed winds, heavy rain and thunder storms.The circulation of warm moist air takes on a circular motion due to the Earth's rotation, rotating clockwise in the Southern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.

How they were named has a little to do with Queensland so I am happy to report on this aspect as well. Clement Wragge, who was Director of the Queensland Met office at the end of the 19th Century was the first person who named the storms after real people. While this idea did not last, another one, which was similar, did catch on. 

The American Weather Bureau started naming hurricanes as it was easy to identify them that way. For many years, for some peculiar reason, storms were given female names. Some people found this practice unacceptable so from the 1970s storms were named after male and female names on an arbitrary basis. So the first storm will be Alex, the second, Bonnie, the third Charlie and so on. 

Nowadays a list is maintained by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, and the list has female as well as male names and they are allocated to the storms but apparently when some become associated with severe weather events like Hurricane Katrina in the US, they are retired off the list. The Philippines, has its own naming system. Sadly perhaps it gets more than its fair share. This in a nutshell is what storms are all about. 

So now you can safely go out there knowing that there is no difference between the three but are you prepared for the one that might come your way, whatever it may be called ? 

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