A book about a storm named Maria

Dear Tom,

Years ago I read a book about a storm named Maria, though it was pronounced Mariah? Are you familiar with that book?

Thanks,
Steve Warner
Evanston

Dear Steve,

I am very familiar that classic novel, “Storm” written by George R. Stewart in 1941. In that book, a junior meteorologist working at the Weather Bureau in San Francisco had a penchant for naming storms after women. He named a fierce storm bearing down on California, Maria, but the author indicated that the storm’s name should be pronounced Mariah. While U.S. meteorologists did not begin giving storms women’s names until 1953, a British meteorologist, Clement Wragge, began naming tropical cyclones that struck Australia in the late 1800s after women. It’s almost certain that there will never be another hurricane Maria as that name will be retired at the end of this hurricane season.