“The answer is ‘name of the next hurricane,’ said National Hurricane Center Director Mike Maloney. “Out of respect for the man who gave us ‘Jeopardy,’ I’ll phrase this in the form of a question: ‘What is Merv?’"
Maloney said Griffin ’s extraordinary life merited the unusual step of assigning his name to a storm after the list had already been decided. “Our forecasters spend a great deal of time plowing through books prior to a storm’s arrival trying to agree upon appropriate names, so I do not make this decision lightly.” He described hurricanes as unusually powerful weather events that must be watched carefully, and constantly. “Just like Merv Griffin, only without the destructive power of torrential rains and dangerously high winds,” said Maloney. “Merv was truly a force of nature, so this is going to be a great fit.”
In related news, Maloney issued a “preliminary list” of names for next year’s Atlantic basin storms. They are as follows: Moqtada, Lindsey, Saddam, Brittney, Ringo, Paris , O.J., Karl, Vick, Rasputin, Geronimo, Charo, Bing, Satchmo, and Zsa Zsa. Maloney said the final list would be determined by on-line voting, with the results issued next May.