Koos Kombuis

Hell has no Fury like a Tropical Storm

2012-01-31 08:56
I was quite surprised to read in the paper the other day that the devastating tropical storm that hit Mozambique and the Limpopo province last week– not the tropical depression that is hitting it now, but the previous one - actually had a name.  

Yes. This wasn’t merely some arbitrary bunch of bad weather; it had an identity, a recognisable personality, and it answered to the name of Dando.

Dando. Isn’t that a lovely name? Almost like Nando's, but without the foul-sounding nasal hiss! I wonder what they will call the new one? Will it start with an E? Eddy? Emo? Eric? The possibilities are endless!

Isn't this just a fantastic concept? I used to think it was only in other countries, such as the United States, that storms like these were christened. We used to have such fun trying to guess what names the Americans would come up with next, or which one would prove the next big hit.

I'm not sure whether "Dando" is a male or a female name, but I suspect it is female, because, like famous Big-Bosomed Katrina, who single-handedly practically flattened the city of New Orleans a few years ago, I have often noticed that storms with feminine identities tend to create more havoc than male storms. I mean, who still remembers Hurricane Ike? Like many other would-be macho blockbusters, Ike started out with a lot of testosterone infused bravado, only to peter out the moment people started getting scared.

Hurricane Juju

Of course, that famous line by William Congreve, from his 1697 poem The Mourning Bride, springs to mind: "Hell has no fury like woman scorned" (I know I didn't quote it exactly right, but this is how the line became known in the collective conscious).

Since tropical storms like Dando in Mozambique are bound to be on the increase (especially with global warming and extreme weather being all the rage nowadays) I can't help wondering whether events in public life can be compared to such weather systems. We have had quite a few potentially devastating storms like that in South Africa: the last really big one, Hurricane Juju, who succeeded Hurricane Zuma after the latter started losing momentum and evaporated into a series of isolated showers, is still blowing around on the periphery of our political landscape; though it has lost some of its punch, some weather forecasters think it might be staging a comeback, especially if it joins forces with the almost forgotten Thabo. Of course, Thabo was never really a fully-fledged storm, it was more like a rather slow and ponderous low-pressure system, but once revived by Juju, it might yet turn into something ominous!

Yet, even should that happen, I'm not too worried. There are two equally strong weather systems who can easily oppose the combined force of the Juju-Thabo thingy. The one, Hurricane Zille, has been active over the Cape Peninsula now for quite a few years, occasionally even causing lightning flashes and damage in other parts of the country. The good news is, since last year Hurricane Zille has joined forces with the massively dangerous and truly unbeatable Storm Lindiwe! I sommer know that Juju and Thabo will be no match for these two awesome ladies!

Let's just hope Hurricane Steve, bolstered by the petite little Whirlwind Jeanine, doesn't decide to enter politics, because that might just upset the whole tea trolley all over again...       

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