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World Meteorological Organization ends use of Greek alphabet to name hurricanes

The organization also retired four hurricane names from the past two seasons

Nine Greek alphabet letters were used to name tropical storms and/or hurricanes in 2020. They will never be used again.
Nine Greek alphabet letters were used to name tropical storms and/or hurricanes in 2020. They will never be used again. (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Miami, Fla. – We’re coming off the most active hurricane season on record and there will be some changes to how storms are named before the next season starts in June.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Hurricane Committee announced that the Greek alphabet will not be used in future hurricane seasons, “because it creates a distraction from the communication of hazard and storm warnings and is potentially confusing,” per Dennis Feltgen, the Communications and Public Affairs Officer for the National Hurricane Center.

The organization has created a supplemental list of names with the standard alphabet that can be used when the yearly list is exhausted. There are 21 names on the Atlantic basin list and 24 on the Pacific basin list. Any of those names could be retired and replaced when required.

In addition to the naming convention changes, the WMO also announced that four storms from the past two hurricane seasons would have their names retired, due to the death and destruction that each storm caused.

Hurricane names retired by the World Meteorological Organization (Copyright 2021 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Dorian will be replaced by Dexter when 2019′s list is used again in 2025. Leah is the new name on the 2020 list, to be used in lieu of Laura in 2026. As the Greek alphabet will not be used again, there are no replacements for Eta and Iota.


About the Author:

Justin McKee presents the weather forecast on 10 News Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 to 8 a.m. He also fills in for other meteorologists during the week.