How can a death-dealing hurricane be named something harmless like Ian or Fiona? There's something askew when a benign name like Bob or Charlie is used as a handle for something cataclysmic.

In 1953, the United States began naming hurricanes solely after women. Meteorologists began describing savage hurricanes as "teasing," "flirting," and "making a pass" with the coastline, and feminists campaigned to stop associating women with natural disasters.

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences a study that suggested "female hurricanes are deadlier than male hurricanes." Talk about a dustup!

When did men's names get added to the hurricane lists? In 1979, to eliminate gender bias, men's names were included to alternate with women's names.

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I believe, occurring in turns, more menacing names ought to accompany the more complimentary ones.

Anytime a tropical disturbance intensifies with rotary circulation and wind speed above 39 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center assigns it a name. The names are chosen well ahead of time by the World Meteorological Organization. The names rotate about every six years, and in the case of a particularly severe hurricane, like Katrina, they often retire that name from the six-year list and replace it with something else.

Hurricane Ian made landfall at Cayo Costa, an island directly south of Boca Grande and just north of North Captiva Island, a short distance from Cape Coral, just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28. It was a Category 4 with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. A Category 5 has winds of 157 miles per hour.

The arithmetic says it all. A Category 5, the most destructive hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, was missed by just two miles per hour.

It's like comparing a beast to an ogre, not an Iris and an Opal.

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