CLOSE

Katrina, Maria, Garvey and Sandy are all infamous names in one of the worst hurricanes in history. But where do these names come from?

TODAY US

With only one left, the National Hurricane Center may soon use the last of its names on the official list of Atlantic Storm names for 2020.

Only Wilfred remains on the list of 21 storms previously approved for the season by the World Meteorological Organization.

This name can be assigned within the next week. In addition to the four named systems currently being monitored – Polett, Teddy, Vicki and Sally – which are expected to cause massive floods in parts of the southeast, the center is monitoring three potential systems. These systems include a system in the eastern Atlantic with a 70% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next five days.

As soon as the hurricane center assigns this name to the list, it will switch to the Greek alphabet. This has only happened once before. The 2005 hyperactive season ended with the use of six Greek names: Tropical Storm Alpha, Hurricane Beta, Tropical Storm Gamma, Tropical Storm Delta, Hurricane Epsilon, and Tropical Storm Zeta.

If Wilfred is formed, it will probably be the earliest recorded storm “W”. Like many storms this season, Vicky set a record, becoming the first 20th storm in the Atlantic to break Tammy’s October 5, 2005 record, said Phil Klotzbach, a Colorado meteorologist who heads the seasonal hurricane forecasting team. .

The Convention on the Naming of Atlantic Storms began in 1953. The International Committee of the Meteorological Organization approves six lists of names that change annually. The list used this year will be reused in 2026, except for any names the group decides to retire. For example, it is likely that Laura’s name will be abolished due to the impact of Hurricane Laura in the United States and the Caribbean, including more than 50 deaths.

For those who didn’t have to memorize the alphabet as a member of the Greek Society in college, here is a list of the 24 names that follow in the center’s rotation after Wilfred:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta
  • Epsilon
  • Zeta
  • AND
  • Theta
  • Iota
  • Kappa
  • Lambda
  • Mu
  • No
  • Si
  • Omicron
  • Pi
  • Ro
  • Sigma
  • Your
  • Apsilon
  • Phi
  • Or
  • Dogs
  • Omega

Auto play

Show thumbnails

Show captions

Last slideNext slide

Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/09/15/hurricane-names-sally-greek-alphabet/5812287002/