Storm names can boost insurance costs
Some meteorologists say the National Hurricane Center is giving out more storm names, which can mean higher costs for homeowners.
Former hurricane center director Neil Frank told The Houston Chronicle that as many as six of this year's 14 named tropical systems might have failed in the past to earn tropical storm status.
The newspaper said the number of a season's named storms is used to determine trends in hurricane activity, which are then used by insurance companies to set homeowners' rates.
Forecasters at the hurricane center say the practice of naming tropical storms has remained consistent over the past two decades.
Scientists, however, generally agree that before widespread satellite coverage, hurricane watchers annually missed one to three tropical storms that developed far from land or were too brief to register with older technology, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International