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Elsa and Olaf, oh my: 'Frozen' characters appear on 2021 hurricane name lists

Tuesday, March 2nd 2021, 4:36 pm - Don't let the names fool you: All hurricanes and tropical storms can be dangerous.

Believe it or not, the Atlantic hurricane season is less than three months away, roaring onto the scene on June 1, 2021.

And the Pacific season is even closer, kicking off at the beginning of May.

The names for 2021 storms in both basins have been announced and we detect a theme, with Elsa and Ana gracing the Atlantic list, and Olaf on the Pacific.

Elsa and Olaf are characters from the Disney 'Frozen' franchise. Ana isn't, but Elsa does have a sister named "Anna," so we think it counts.

Atlantic

Pacific

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

A lot, according to science. Some parents may not find a storm bearing the same name as their child's favourite snowman threatening but rest assured, any storm that's strong enough to earn a moniker comes with risks.

Storms are given names to streamline communications and avoid confusion, NOAA says.

It passes this threshold when it displays a rotating pattern and has wind speeds of at least 63 kilometres per hour.

When a tropical storm hits windspeeds around 119 kilometres per hour, it becomes a hurricane.

HURRICANES WITH FEMALE-SOUNDING NAMES MORE DEADLY

A 2014 study suggests the name storms are given matter, with people less likely to evacuate or take protective measures when the storm has a feminine-sounding name.

As a result, more people die.

The analysis, which looked at more than 60 years of U.S. hurricane death reveals what the authors call an "unfortunate and unintended" byproduct of gendering hurricane names.

"The problem is that a hurricane's name has nothing to do with its severity," said Kiju Jung, a then-doctoral student in marketing in the U. of I.'s College of Business and the lead author on the study, said in a statement.

"Names are assigned arbitrarily, based on a predetermined list of alternating male and female names. If people in the path of a severe storm are judging the risk based on the storm's name, then this is potentially very dangerous."

Thumbnail image courtesy: Disney/Wikipedia. Source (WP:NFCC#4)

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