Fabian's out...Frodo's in?

The name "Fabian" is being put to rest ? and the Regional Four Hurricane Committee is taking suggestions for a new "F" word to put in its place.

So far the name 'Frodo' ? after the hobbit star of "The Lord of the Rings" ? seems to be one of the front-runners.


The name "Fabian" is being put to rest ? and the Regional Four Hurricane Committee is taking suggestions for a new "F" word to put in its place.

So far the name 'Frodo' ? after the hobbit star of "The Lord of the Rings" ? seems to be one of the front-runners.

"They are putting the name 'Fabian' to bed because of the fact that it caused so much damage and loss of life," explained Bermuda Weather Service director Roger Williams. "The country most affected is usually asked to supply suggestions for another name ? a male name beginning with 'F'."

The Weather Service is extending that request to the entire Island, he said. "Locals can send in their suggestions to infoweather.bm."

The Weather Service has already received about 30 suggestions, he said, including Forrest and Felix. "One of the more interesting ones is Frodo ? the hobbit," laughed Mr. Williams.

The names have to be easy to pronounce so they can be used in weather bulletins, he said, and they cannot be in use already.

Names of a particularly sensitive nature are also not encouraged. "I believe one year there was a name which was suggestive of Hitler," explained Mr. Williams. "Not a good idea."

"We will be looking at finalising the names by Sunday at the latest. On Monday we will put the list through to the Emergency Measures Organisation (EMO) Executive Committee, and they will finalise it."

The EMO will send the final list of three names through to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Regional Four Hurricane Committee, which will be meeting in Miami at the end of April, primarily to discuss other issues. "The final decision takes place at the meeting," said Mr. Williams. "It is likely that if we put three names through, they'll choose one of those."

According to the National Hurricane Centre website, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from NHC lists since 1953. Those lists are now maintained by the WMO.

The lists featured only women's names until 1979, when men's and women's names were alternated. There are six lists, which are used in rotation. That means the list which contained the name 'Fabian' will not be used again until 2009; however, Mr. Williams explained, if a name is retired, a new name is usually chosen in the following year.

The NHC website states: "The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity."

In 2002 the name 'Keith' was retired and replaced with 'Kirk'. Four names were retired in 1995.

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