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Greek alphabet dropped for naming tropical storms and hurricanes

Greek alphabet dropped for naming tropical storms and hurricanes
Hurricane Iota
Posted at 8:28 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 09:01:05-04

The World Meteorological Organization Hurricane Committee, which serves North America, Central America and the Caribbean (WMO Regional Association IV) has agreed to change the naming convention of Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. The committee met in a virtual session this week due to COVID-19.

Starting in 2021, the Greek alphabet will no longer be used for tropical cyclones when the normal yearly list is exhausted. The reason is the committee believes "it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing". Starting this year, a supplemental list of names will be used in place of the Greek alphabet.

Here is the supplemental list:

Hurricane Names Supplemental List 2021.png
Storm Names Supplemental List For Atlantic

Last year was only the second time in history the Greek Alphabet has ever been used. That last time was in 2005 when we saw Zeta last all the way into January of 2006.

Names on the supplementary list could be retired and replaced when required. This is the same process that is done with the standard list. Names can be retired because of the death and destruction they cause. In this year's meeting, the committee agreed to retire Dorian from 2019 and Laura, Eta and Iota from 2020.

Retired Tropical Cyclone Names
Retired Tropical Cyclone Names from 2019 and 2020

In this year's session, there were also discussions about moving the start of hurricane season to May 15. This was brought up because experts have seen a trend of named storms forming prior to the official start of the season. Experts have seen this trend continue over the past six seasons. However, the committee agreed that there will be no changes to the official start date of the Atlantic hurricane season in 2021. Hurricane season will continue to run from June 1st through November 30.


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