Three months after Sandy, many of the news media have settled on Superstorm Sandy as the way to describe the storm that ravaged the Northeast and elsewhere in early November.
I've had enough of "superstorm" and its tabloid connotations. What was the thing actually called? And what should the press call it?
On January 15, 2010, the National Weather Service fell into line with other member countries of the World Meteorological Organization by agreeing to call such storms "post-tropical cyclones." And it defined the term, in a release in an all-caps text file that looks as though it came over an old AP teletype sometime around 1942:
A FORMER TROPICAL CYCLONE. THIS GENERIC TERM DESCRIBES A CYCLONE THAT NO LONGER POSSESSES SUFFICIENT TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS TO BE CONSIDERED A TROPICAL CYCLONE. ...