Only one name left on hurricane list, so what’s next?


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season has been record breaking in many ways. The season as a whole is currently in second place for the most active season on record and there just under half of the season still to go.

The Atlantic basin remains active as of early Wednesday (Sept. 16) afternoon.

The Atlantic Hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. However, the Atlantic was active prior to June 1 this year. A new record was set for the most named tropical cyclones prior to the official start of Hurricane Season.

Fast forward to the middle of September and the season has remained record breaking. As of Wednesday, twenty of the twenty-one names on the tropical cyclone list have been used, leaving only one name left.

20 out of the 21 names on this years tropical cyclone name list have been used. Laura was the only hurricane to reach “major” status.

If all of the names on this years’ list are used, the National Hurricane Center will then turn to the Greek Alphabet for names. The use of the Greek Alphabet for tropical cyclone names has only happened once before, in 2005. During the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season, there were 27 named storms, six of which were named from the Greek Alphabet. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta were all used that year.

Many have asked the question, “Can a tropical cyclone that is named by the Greek Alphabet be retired?”

The answer is no, tropical cyclones that are named by the Greek Alphabet will not be retired by the National Hurricane Center. Should a Greek-named tropical cyclone be devastating enough to be considered for retirement, the National Hurricane Center would denote the letter with the year. For example, if Gamma were to be retired this year, it would be noted as Gamma-2020, and then would be available for future use if needed.

The National Hurricane Center has only had to turn to the Greek Alphabet to name storms once before (2005).

For more information on current tropical cyclone activity, visit the National Hurricane Center website.

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