Ciaran and not Ciara/ Why are Albanians confusing the name of the storm?
For several hours, Europe, but also Albania, has been invaded by a storm. The storm is called Ciaran, everywhere in the world it is written correctly during media reports, except in Albania. In the Albanian media, as can be seen in this photo, everyone refers to the storm as Ciara (Kiara), changing the gender of the storm and making it a girl. In this case, Ciaran took the name of a gentleman (we will clarify the story below). Ciara is another Kiarë, one of the most popular names in Albania in recent months. A name that is attracting attention everywhere and whenever it seems that it also influenced the confusion of the name of the storm.
Why is the storm called Ciaran?
Ciaran is named after a civil servant who works in the Irish Civil Emergencies. This is the gentleman in the picture.
How do storms get their names?
The World Meteorological Organization delegates the choice of names, which must alternate between masculine and feminine genders, to five regional bodies.
It all depends on which country the storm hits first. Since 2017, Europe has been divided into five zones, within which weather services cooperate to collectively name the phenomenon.
In the case of Ciaran, the group containing Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands chose this name - a tribute to Ciarán Fearon, an Irish civil servant who works in flood monitoring.
Why are storms named?
The IMO explains on its website that the main reason for naming hurricanes is to help quickly identify storms in warning messages, because names are supposed to be much easier to remember than numbers and technical terms.
Similarly, ëMO explains that it prefers to use names that are familiar to people in each region. In Japan, the names Usagi, Koguma or Tokage may be used. For Australia, Kate, Jack or Fletcher are more likely to be remembered.
A masculine or feminine name?
Since the early 1950s, the IMO has used only female names to name hurricanes. This changed in 1979, and since then male and female names have alternated, in alphabetical order (such as Harvey, Irma, Jose and Katia this year).
This is a change that does not prevent gender stereotypes. A study conducted by American researchers has shown that hurricanes with female names that have hit the US have killed more people than those with male names. The reason is not the phenomenon itself, but that hurricanes with female names are perceived as less dangerous than those with male names. Alexandre, for example, is perceived as more threatening than Alexandra.