WMO announces retired names, ends the use of Greek Alphabet

Months after the historic 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the World Meteorological Organization Hurricane Committee announced the replacement names for the retired names of the season and the replacement for Dorian that was retired in 2019. WMO Hurricane Committee also decided that Greek Alphabet will not be used again, reason being it’ll not be suitable to be used in the future that may create confusion on communicating the hazards brought by Greek systems.

The Committee also pointed out the shortcomings that may come with the use of the Greek alphabet, which was that people might focus in the use of Greek Alphabet and not into the system itself. The issue of retiring Greek letters as hurricane names first raised in the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season after Hurricane Beta’s damage in Central America and again in the recent 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season after multiple Greek hurricanes and major hurricanes. In the 2006 WMO Hurricane Committee press release, those names will be retired but just to the year and can be used again. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season kicked off early with a record nine named storms from May through July, including two named storms in May. The basin ran out of conventional names on September 18, opting the use of Greek Alphabet, only to be seen for the second time (first being the 2005 Season,) ending late with Category 5 Major Hurricane Iota.  Due to the retiring of the Greek Alphabet, the World Meteorological Organization has introduced new auxiliary lists which will be used if the entirety of the conventional names are used for both the Atlantic and Pacific basins. These lists can be found below. The WMO Hurricane Committee also reiterates the start of hurricane season to start by 1 June.

Atlantic Basin Auxiliary Hurricane names as introduced by WMO this week.
Eastern Pacific Auxiliary Hurricane names as introduced by WMO this week.









Article written by Justine, adapted and formatted by Preston Schenk.

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