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We’re Running Out of Names This Hurricane Season

30 Sep 2021, 10:00 am

We’re nearing familiar territory when it comes to naming tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, that is, using up all of the predestined names.

With the news that another tropical cyclone formed in the Atlantic Ocean Friday, we’re crossing off another name on this year’s list: Teresa. We’ve now had 19 tropical cyclones this season in the Atlantic. That’s well above the average number of named storms in any given year which is 14. That 14 number is new this year It used to be an average of 12 named storms each hurricane season until the new climate normals came out in 2021 which bumped it up another 2.

There are another two months left in the hurricane season (ends November 30) so there could still be additional named storms in the Atlantic. What happens if we reach the end of the list? Last year we reached the end of the list by mid September and then went on to Greek letters. That will not be the case this year.

Instead, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and National Hurricane Center (NHC) agreed to use an alternative list of names. This is a constant list of the same alternative names year to year. Referred to as the supplemental list it also begins with the letter A and continues alphabetically to W adding another 21 potential names. Hopefully we don’t get to the end of *that* list because it would mean 42 storms were named.

Supplemental List of Atlantic & Pacific Named Storms

Atlantic tropical cyclone names

Pacific tropical cyclone names

Adria Aidan
Braylen Bruna
Caridad Carmelo
Deshawn Daniella
Emery Esteban
Foster Flor
Gemma Gerardo
Heath Hedda
Isla Izzy
Jacobus Jacinta
Kenzie Kenito
Lucio Luna
Makayla Marina
Nolan Nancy
Orlanda Ovidio
Pax Pia
Ronin Rey
Sophie Skylar
Tayshaun Teo
Viviana Violeta

The reason this supplemental list was recommended rather than using Greek letters again is that the WMO & NHC found the Greek naming system to be too confusing to the end user. The confusion, in their view, drew away from the impacts of last year’s Greek-named hurricanes (some of which were major hurricanes). Let’s just hope we don’t have to use or see this alternate list often.

About the author
Summer of 1993, New England Dragway. That's when and where Steve knew he wanted to become a meteorologist. More than 20 years later he is extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to live his childhood dream. As a lover of math and science, Steve had a consistent interest in weather in elementary, middle, and high school before discovering you can major in meteorology. He attended Lyndon State Co... Load Morellege in Vermont where he received a bachelor's in meteorology-broadcasting and associate's in television news. He has worked as a meteorologist and reporter in Winchester, VA, Burlington, VT, and most recently in West Palm Beach, FL. He's recognized by the American Meteorological Society with the Certification of Broadcast Meteorologists.