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August 27th, 2011 - "god of the storm"

hurricane - ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Spanish huracán, probably from Taino hurakán ‘god of the storm.’

Tropical Storm Irene is making its way up the north-eastern coast of the United States of America. Despite growing up in the British West Indies or Anglo-Caribbean for the geopolitically challenged, I've never experienced a hurricane. Somehow, despite living in Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent my family always seemed to somewhere else when a major storm hit.

Funny thing is I've experienced a few minor earthquakes — Antigua is on a fault line — and blizzards. I expect we'll have more rain — and flooding — than strong damaging winds.

One thing I found while doing my research is that a hurricane is a type of cyclone that is unique in that it has a warm core. Hurricanes are called different things depending on geography — typhoon, tropical storm, or tropical depression. Lot's of people get depressed after a hurricane.