Running out of hurricane names...again
After a record number of tropical storms in 2020 that saw forecasters dip nine letters into the Greek alphabet, we're about to run out of Atlantic tropical cyclone names. Again.
Over the course of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, 50 (!!!) named storms have traversed the Atlantic basin. The latest tropical storm, Victor, formed late Wednesday off the coast of Africa.
Wednesday's tropical development means that there's only one name left on the list this year: Wanda
While it's been another hyperactive season in terms of named storms, most other parameters are barely above normal. The number of hurricanes and Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) value are not particularly noteworthy at this point in the season.
However, 4 major (Cat. 3+) hurricanes is statistically significant. So far, only one (Ida) has made landfall in the United States, hitting Louisiana exactly one month ago. One major hurricane is active currently, which is Hurricane Sam.
So, what happens if/when we run out of names?
In the past, forecasters have used the Greek alphabet to supplement any additional needed names. However, this year starts a new trend: a separate list where the alphabet restarts with more names.
A pronunciation guide for this supplemental list can be found here.
Personally, I could not be more excited for the prospect of Hurricane Jacobus. However, for the sake of weary hurricane forecasters everywhere, let's hope that we don't need to use too many names on this new list.
Hurricane season techincally ends on November 30th.